The Honey Exchange
494 Stevens Ave
Phil Gaven and his wife, Meghan, began bunging with bees with a single hive in South Portland in 2007. The following year, Phil captured his first swarm. Soon thereafter, this crazy hobby became a passion that threatened to take over space and time in their orderly lives.
The Honey Exchange was conceived as a small retail store that would incorporate anything and everything to do with honey, honeybees, and beehives. The centerpiece is The Honey Room, which features local, artisan, and varietal honey from around the country; food and beverages made with honey; and beeswax products from candles to lip balm and everything in between. The Beekeeping Room features woodenware and all the equipment any hobbyist beekeeper needs to keep backyard bees. The professional extracting kitchen has a 20 frame motorized extractor where local beekeepers can have their honey extracted conveniently and mess-free. The Honey Exchange prefers to be paid in honey for extraction services and that honey is put into jars and labeled with an “appellation” label specific to the neighborhood where the hives are kept. Ideally, Portland residents will have a source for truly local honey all year around.
The store is located at 494 Stevens Avenue, just 2 doors north of Pat’s Meat Mart. Educational outreach is central to the mission of The Honey Exchange and they arrange school visits and field trips to educate people of all ages about the wonders of the honeybee hive. Neighborhood residents and vacationers alike enjoy watching the observation hive in the beekeeping room.