For Joanne Young and Randall York, their small business began as a hobby in their Charlotte backyard. Randall began keeping bees and soon realized he was producing more honey than he knew what to do with. The couple founded Cloister Honey and began selling at Charlotte area farmers' markets and festivals. Soon, national retailer Dean & Deluca took notice. And now, you can try Cloister Honey in our Plank Road Box.
Cloister Honey quickly outgrew the confines of their backyard. They now keep hives around Mint Hill, at the Johnson and Wales Cooking School and on the sedum-covered roof of the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte's first LEED-certified hotel. Honey tastes uniquely of the nectar source the bees were exposed to, and Cloister Honey's bees travel so that they may offer different varieties of honey, such as sourwood and tupelo. To make the sourwood honey, the bees are transported to western NC in mid-June when the sourwood tree blooms. Randall's hives also set up shop near Charlotte-area railroad tracks where wild berries and brambles grow.
To see Randall and Joanne's hives in action and to see them extracting honey from the comb in the Ritz-Carlton's kitchen, check out this video from Our State magazine.