Cape May Honey Farm has the buzz on bees

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Andi and Doug Marandino operate Cape May Honey Farm, a specialty store that sells raw honey and organic honey products. Andi and Doug Marandino operate Cape May Honey Farm, a specialty store that sells raw honey and organic honey products.

When it comes to bees and things related to honey, the Marandinos have all the buzz.

Doug Marandino and his wife, Andi, opened Cape May Honey Farm in March with one goal in mind.

“Our goal here is not just to sell honey, but we do want to talk about honey and honeybees,” Andi Marandino said.

Originally from Bulgaria, she grew up in a family that kept bees for a living. When she and her husband visited her family, Doug immediately fell in love with the profession, they said.

“We went to one backyard and there were over 100 beehives in there, so that was kind of my tipping point to get me started,” he said. “I took a basics course, and it has grown from there.”

The couple now has hives in six locations throughout Cape May.

They sell the honey and other products in their store, Cape May Honey Farm at 135 Sunset Blvd. in Cape May.
“Our store is all about honey bees and everything they make,” Andi Marandino said.

The store carries more than 40 varieties of honey, their own handmade beeswax candles, books about beekeeping and the benefits of honey, and organic cosmetics that are made from honeybee products. They also have a line of soap that is made with their honey especially for their store by 210 Soap Company.

Some of the items are made by other local businesses. They include clay pots handmade by Cape May artist Susan Ross, and various skin care products by Just Skin Food of Cape May.

“We do want to support other businesses and other artists,” Andi Marandino said.

She said that they only sell honey that comes directly from beekeepers. Their own brand of honey is raw and unprocessed.

On their website, they pledge to follow old beekeeping traditions and manage their hives in a holistic and natural way.

Open just a few months, the business seems to be humming along.

“I think it’s shaping up to be a strong summer,” Doug Marandino said. “Everybody that comes in is so excited. There’s been a really good response from everybody.”

He said they are planning to stay open year-round because of Cape May’s reputation for being busy in the fall and winter as well as the summer.

“It’s just such a really family-oriented, beautiful town,” he said. “We met here, we got married here and started a family here, so it just made sense that this would be the spot where we would open our store.”

His wife said they have already had a lot of customers buying Christmas gifts.

“I think we do have some great items that make great gifts that are locally crafted,” she said.

In addition to selling honey-based products, they also bring in an observation hive a few times a week for customers to see. It has a glass top so people can look in and see the bees inside and the queen bee. Andi Marandino said that kids especially enjoy seeing it.

That, she said, is the best part of their business.

“Most of our customers are really curious to learn,” she said. “We talk bees and honey all day long, and we love it because we do want to educate.”

For information call 609-425-6434 or see www.capemayhoneyfarm.com.

All the bottling and labeling is done in-house. All the bottling and labeling is done in-house.


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