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Halifax Honey Company heats up dishes


Jesse Abbass grew up in the hospitality industry and food innovation has always been a big part of his life. One summer his family experienced a hornet problem on their restaurant’s patio. There were hornets coming out of the planters and hovering around customers’ food. Jesse was thinking about what they could do to address the problem when he stumbled upon the bee filter on the app Snapchat. With this particular filter, you could make your face look like a bee; it also came with a voice-changer.

He says, “I started sending funny videos back and forth with a few friends with everyday mundane firstworld problems and calling them ‘bee problems.’” From that hilarious experience, Jesse and his good friend Jake Mahoney began discussing how to raise awareness about the importance of bees to the world’s ecological systems. They even ordered bracelets with the phrases #beeproblems & #teamhoney.

The two friends continued making funny and informative videos, sharing them on Instagram; a platform that was relatively new at the time. Next, they decided that they wanted to take their new passion for sharing information about the importance of bees, and do something entrepreneurial. The pair thought about honey, and how it’s normally used as a kitchen staple, but primarily kept in the cupboard for baking, or to sweeten teas. They wondered if they could make a gourmet condiment with honey.

Jesse and Jake began experimenting with different recipes until they landed on products they were truly proud of. They tested the products with friends and family and decided to launch a business, and in November of 2016, the brand new Halifax Honey Company was born.

Jesse had been making a jalapeño hot sauce for a couple years prior to starting the company, and he was infatuated with having a hot sauce available tableside at his family’s restaurant. Most hot sauces are red in colour and Jesse thought it would be appealing to have a green sauce; he took some of what he learned from that experience and applied it to their Stingin’ Hot Honey; a honey infused with chilies.              

Stingin’ Hot Honey isn’t so much a hot sauce as it is a condiment for drizzling on food after it has been cooked—pizza, chicken wings and other meats, or as a glaze for salmon, it is also fantastic served with charcuterie.

Another popular item is their Stingin’ Hot Starter. This is what the friends refer to as a “cooking tool” because it’s great for adding to the pan when making sauces and stir-fries.
It also adds a tasty zing for bigger batch items like hummus, guacamole and marinades.

When we asked Jesse if this was a family business, he gave us the best answer: “This is a best friend business! My business partner and I have been friends since we were three years old.”

Jesse and Jake are very proud to work with local beekeepers to source their fresh, raw honey. They do all of their chili pepper infusions in Halifax where they both grew up.

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