Sweet Treats: Spotlight on our Honey Suppliers

By Jennifer Wholey

ricks bees smIf you ask a beekeeper what comprises an average day on the job, they will all say something similar: when your livelihood is so tied to the seasons and other living creatures, there is no daily routine.

"The work is very seasonal, and there is no typical day," said Gil Menda, of Gil's Honeybees.

What is typical among GreenStar's three main honey suppliers — Ithaca Honey Bee Company, Gil's Honeybees, and Beeman Apiaries — is a deep love of nourishing small-scale local business. At every opportunity, GreenStar strives to support local vendors, and few products boast more health benefits tied to locality than honey, according to Grocery Buyer Morgan Greer. "We pride ourselves on sourcing our honey exclusively from local vendors," she said. "Luckily, there are several producers of delicious honey just down the road from us."

Of the three main vendors, Beeman Apiaries is the largest, and known to many by the moniker of its former owner, Rowland's. Current owner Joel Babcock purchased the business from Joe Rowland in March 2014, and he strived to make the shift as seamless as possible. "The bees are all taken care of organically, just like they were with Joe. Things are basically run the same — run the same way he did for years," Babcock said. "It was easy to transition. I just make more honey now."

Babcock started keeping bees with his father when he was 10 years old. He continued to keep a small number of hives for himself for the next four decades, and began working part time with Rowland in recent years. When Rowland decided to retire in 2014 (he still has at least a dozen hives in his backyard), Babcock purchased almost 400 hives and took over the business, with beehives stationed all the way from Pennsylvania to Ithaca, and Babcock the sole man at the helm.

Read more: Sweet Treats: Spotlight on our Honey Suppliers


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New in Bulk

Deez Nutz (and Seeds)

Joe Damiano,
Bulk Department Manager

almond-bot-illWhat's so special about our new line of sprouted nuts 
and seeds? Read on and find out about the benefits!

You may have noticed that we've been adding many products that contain sprouted nuts and seeds. I've been getting a lot of questions about them, so I want to share a little bit about the nutritional and digestive benefits of eating these products. Nuts and seeds are a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty 
acids, fiber, vitamins B and E, and the minerals magnesium, calcium, copper, selenium, zinc, and iron. In unsprouted form, they also contain enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, which prevents absorption of minerals. Sprouting neutralizes some phytic acid, thus improving mineral absorption, and removes some enzyme inhibitors, improving overall digestibility. To put it simply, sprouted nuts and seeds offer more nutrition and make for easier digestion than their unsprouted counterparts. Try some and let me know what you think!

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