A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.

amuse bouche

I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:

How should I eat? (Not too much)
—Michael Pollan

If it is so difficult to learn to cook, how did all those early pioneer women manage to cross the country in rugged covered wagons and feed troops of people from one big pot hung over an open fire?
—Marion Cunningham, from Learning to Cook

Treat treats as treats.
—Michael Pollan

No matter how you slice it through, grain-fed meat production systems are a drain on the global food supply.
—Jonathan A. Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment, U of MN

Caledonia Spirits & Winery: The Honey Man’s Dream

Todd Hardie, Director of Caledonia Spirits & Winery

Todd Hardie, Director of Caledonia Spirits & Winery

The Honey Man
A few years ago, Todd Hardie was called “The Honey Man.” A childhood managing beehives as a beekeeper led to operating a retail business called Honey Gardens Apiaries, Inc., through which Todd sold honey and other apitherapy products on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, Vermont, as well as online at www.HoneyGardens.com. One day, I noticed that the shop was no longer open and wondered where The Honey Man had gone. It took my new blog and an interest in food entrepreneurism in my home state of Vermont to find him again. (Special note: Caledonia spirits and wines are now available at the old honey house in Ferrisburgh every Fri-Sat, 10-6 PM.)

Two New Businesses
When I caught up with Todd, I found him living and working in the Northeast Kingdom and loving it. We met on the last of the warm days in autumn, beautiful as only a seventy-eight degree day in northern Vermont can be—a very precious gift of a day. I sat with Todd at a small table outside the front door of the operating plant and retail shop of his two new businesses, Caledonia Spirits and Caledonia Winery. We watched the bees, quite happy in the sunlight, fly around our heads in a ring and practically perch on Todd’s fingers. Looking around, I saw two beehives on the corner of the property, a reminder that the new businesses were strongly based on Todd’s old love of bees.

Family History
But Todd also pointed out that his ancestors, true to their Scots’ origins, were distillers of 12-year old whiskey, the J. & W. Hardie Ltd Company, which is still based in Edinburgh, Scotland. This meant that the new distillery we sat in front of was now part of a rich multi-generational history.

“People Come Out of the Woodwork”
“People of Vermont support Vermonters,” was Todd’s comment when we talked about the difficulties of starting a new food-related enterprise. “People come out of the woodwork,” he continued as we discussed the support of the group of outstanding food companies along the banks of the Lamoille River in the Hardwick area of Caledonia County, including the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont Soy, High Mowing Organic Seeds and Pete’s Greens. He calls his fellow food entrepreneurs “courageous and disciplined” because they have managed to make a success of creating a dynamic atmosphere for food companies in the corner of Vermont that has for years been known as a farming community hanging on to much-loved family farms without much prospect.

Sealed with Beeswax
He praised the state laws that allow a distiller to sell in more then one location, and the farmers’ markets that provide lively venues for selling his wares. Todd’s new line of production involves honey-infused vodka and gin, as well as an elderberry cordial and an elderberry wine made from fermented fruit of the local elderberry bush. His handsome bottles are sealed with beeswax, a reminder of how much his new business owes to his old love of bees.

“A Beautiful Mystery”
Leaving Todd in the sunlight, surrounded by his bees, formed a picture in my mind, one that I was reminded of when I read the label of his Barr Hill Vodka. It reads:

“Our relationship with the land and honey bees gave birth to this Vodka. The soul of a beekeeper is filled with the rhythms that flow through the seasons, reflecting the changes in the flowers, rains, sun and all the forces that are part of this beautiful mystery.”

I can’t think of a better way to say it. Try one of his wonderful honey-infused liquors or try his elderberry wine and you are transported to that “beautiful mystery.” A rare gift, especially for the holidays!

Photo bar

At Caledonia Spirits & Winery with distillery assistant Adam Mitchell

Holiday Open House: There will be a Caledonia Spirits & Winery Holiday Open House on Sat, Dec 15 and Dec 22, 10 AM-5 PM in Hardwick, Vermont.

Accolades of Note: Barr Hill Gin won DOUBLE GOLD at the New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC), which was held in NYC on October 21, 2012! Over 34 countries submitted their brands to be critiqued by a hand-selected panel of A-List judges – buyers, retail storeowners, restaurant/bar proprietors, distributors and importers. The judges taste, evaluate and judge close to 400 of the world’s best–distilled spirits, and we had the honor of winning DOUBLE GOLD, the highest rank. WATCH THIS SNAZZY VIDEO ABOUT THE COMPETITION >

Caledonia Spirits & Winery can be found in Hardwick, Vermont, just off Route 15 or at farmers’ markets in Burlington, Montpelier, Johnson and Hardwick. For more information contact Todd Hardie at 802-472-8000 or todd@calendoniaspirits.com.

Posted: 12-15-2012

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The Honey Man
A few years ago, Todd Hardie was called “The Honey Man." A childhood managing beehives as a beekeeper led to operating a retail business called Honey Gardens Apiaries, Inc., through which Todd sold honey and other apitherapy products on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, Vermont, as well as online at www.HoneyGardens.com. One day, I noticed that the shop was no longer open and wondered where The Honey Man had gone. It took my new blog and an interest in food entrepreneurism in my home state of Vermont to find him again. (Special note: Caledonia spirits and wines are now available at the old honey house in Ferrisburgh every Fri-Sat, 10-6 PM.)

Two New Businesses
When I caught up with Todd, I found him living and working in the Northeast Kingdom and loving it. We met on the last of the warm days in autumn, beautiful as only a seventy-eight degree day in northern Vermont can be—a very precious gift of a day. I sat with Todd at a small table outside the front door of the operating plant and retail shop of his two new businesses, Caledonia Spirits and Caledonia Winery. We watched the bees, quite happy in the sunlight, fly around our heads in a ring and practically perch on Todd’s fingers. Looking around, I saw two beehives on the corner of the property, a reminder that the new businesses were strongly based on Todd’s old love of bees.

Family History
But Todd also pointed out that his ancestors, true to their Scots' origins, were distillers of 12-year old whiskey, the J. & W. Hardie Ltd Company, which is still based in Edinburgh, Scotland. This meant that the new distillery we sat in front of was now part of a rich multi-generational history.

“People Come Out of the Woodwork”
“People of Vermont support Vermonters," was Todd's comment when we talked about the difficulties of starting a new food-related enterprise. “People come out of the woodwork,” he continued as we discussed the support of the group of outstanding food companies along the banks of the Lamoille River in the Hardwick area of Caledonia County, including the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont Soy, High Mowing Organic Seeds and Pete’s Greens. He calls his fellow food entrepreneurs “courageous and disciplined” because they have managed to make a success of creating a dynamic atmosphere for food companies in the corner of Vermont that has for years been known as a farming community hanging on to much-loved family farms without much prospect.

Sealed with Beeswax
He praised the state laws that allow a distiller to sell in more then one location, and the farmers’ markets that provide lively venues for selling his wares. Todd’s new line of production involves honey-infused vodka and gin, as well as an elderberry cordial and an elderberry wine made from fermented fruit of the local elderberry bush. His handsome bottles are sealed with beeswax, a reminder of how much his new business owes to his old love of bees.

“A Beautiful Mystery”
Leaving Todd in the sunlight, surrounded by his bees, formed a picture in my mind, one that I was reminded of when I read the label of his Barr Hill Vodka. It reads:

“Our relationship with the land and honey bees gave birth to this Vodka. The soul of a beekeeper is filled with the rhythms that flow through the seasons, reflecting the changes in the flowers, rains, sun and all the forces that are part of this beautiful mystery.”

I can’t think of a better way to say it. Try one of his wonderful honey-infused liquors or try his elderberry wine and you are transported to that “beautiful mystery." A rare gift, especially for the holidays!

[caption id="attachment_1532" align="alignnone" width="497"]Photo bar At Caledonia Spirits & Winery with distillery assistant Adam Mitchell[/caption]

Holiday Open House: There will be a Caledonia Spirits & Winery Holiday Open House on Sat, Dec 15 and Dec 22, 10 AM-5 PM in Hardwick, Vermont.

Accolades of Note: Barr Hill Gin won DOUBLE GOLD at the New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC), which was held in NYC on October 21, 2012! Over 34 countries submitted their brands to be critiqued by a hand-selected panel of A-List judges – buyers, retail storeowners, restaurant/bar proprietors, distributors and importers. The judges taste, evaluate and judge close to 400 of the world’s best–distilled spirits, and we had the honor of winning DOUBLE GOLD, the highest rank. WATCH THIS SNAZZY VIDEO ABOUT THE COMPETITION >

Caledonia Spirits & Winery can be found in Hardwick, Vermont, just off Route 15 or at farmers’ markets in Burlington, Montpelier, Johnson and Hardwick. For more information contact Todd Hardie at 802-472-8000 or todd@calendoniaspirits.com.

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The Honey Man
A few years ago, Todd Hardie was called “The Honey Man." A childhood managing beehives as a beekeeper led to operating a retail business called Honey Gardens Apiaries, Inc., through which Todd sold honey and other apitherapy products on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, Vermont, as well as online at www.HoneyGardens.com. One day, I noticed that the shop was no longer open and wondered where The Honey Man had gone. It took my new blog and an interest in food entrepreneurism in my home state of Vermont to find him again. (Special note: Caledonia spirits and wines are now available at the old honey house in Ferrisburgh every Fri-Sat, 10-6 PM.)

Two New Businesses
When I caught up with Todd, I found him living and working in the Northeast Kingdom and loving it. We met on the last of the warm days in autumn, beautiful as only a seventy-eight degree day in northern Vermont can be—a very precious gift of a day. I sat with Todd at a small table outside the front door of the operating plant and retail shop of his two new businesses, Caledonia Spirits and Caledonia Winery. We watched the bees, quite happy in the sunlight, fly around our heads in a ring and practically perch on Todd’s fingers. Looking around, I saw two beehives on the corner of the property, a reminder that the new businesses were strongly based on Todd’s old love of bees.

Family History
But Todd also pointed out that his ancestors, true to their Scots' origins, were distillers of 12-year old whiskey, the J. & W. Hardie Ltd Company, which is still based in Edinburgh, Scotland. This meant that the new distillery we sat in front of was now part of a rich multi-generational history.

“People Come Out of the Woodwork”
“People of Vermont support Vermonters," was Todd's comment when we talked about the difficulties of starting a new food-related enterprise. “People come out of the woodwork,” he continued as we discussed the support of the group of outstanding food companies along the banks of the Lamoille River in the Hardwick area of Caledonia County, including the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont Soy, High Mowing Organic Seeds and Pete’s Greens. He calls his fellow food entrepreneurs “courageous and disciplined” because they have managed to make a success of creating a dynamic atmosphere for food companies in the corner of Vermont that has for years been known as a farming community hanging on to much-loved family farms without much prospect.

Sealed with Beeswax
He praised the state laws that allow a distiller to sell in more then one location, and the farmers’ markets that provide lively venues for selling his wares. Todd’s new line of production involves honey-infused vodka and gin, as well as an elderberry cordial and an elderberry wine made from fermented fruit of the local elderberry bush. His handsome bottles are sealed with beeswax, a reminder of how much his new business owes to his old love of bees.

“A Beautiful Mystery”
Leaving Todd in the sunlight, surrounded by his bees, formed a picture in my mind, one that I was reminded of when I read the label of his Barr Hill Vodka. It reads:

“Our relationship with the land and honey bees gave birth to this Vodka. The soul of a beekeeper is filled with the rhythms that flow through the seasons, reflecting the changes in the flowers, rains, sun and all the forces that are part of this beautiful mystery.”

I can’t think of a better way to say it. Try one of his wonderful honey-infused liquors or try his elderberry wine and you are transported to that “beautiful mystery." A rare gift, especially for the holidays!

[caption id="attachment_1532" align="alignnone" width="497"]Photo bar At Caledonia Spirits & Winery with distillery assistant Adam Mitchell[/caption]

Holiday Open House: There will be a Caledonia Spirits & Winery Holiday Open House on Sat, Dec 15 and Dec 22, 10 AM-5 PM in Hardwick, Vermont.

Accolades of Note: Barr Hill Gin won DOUBLE GOLD at the New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC), which was held in NYC on October 21, 2012! Over 34 countries submitted their brands to be critiqued by a hand-selected panel of A-List judges – buyers, retail storeowners, restaurant/bar proprietors, distributors and importers. The judges taste, evaluate and judge close to 400 of the world’s best–distilled spirits, and we had the honor of winning DOUBLE GOLD, the highest rank. WATCH THIS SNAZZY VIDEO ABOUT THE COMPETITION >

Caledonia Spirits & Winery can be found in Hardwick, Vermont, just off Route 15 or at farmers’ markets in Burlington, Montpelier, Johnson and Hardwick. For more information contact Todd Hardie at 802-472-8000 or todd@calendoniaspirits.com.

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The Honey Man
A few years ago, Todd Hardie was called “The Honey Man." A childhood managing beehives as a beekeeper led to operating a retail business called Honey Gardens Apiaries, Inc., through which Todd sold honey and other apitherapy products on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, Vermont, as well as online at www.HoneyGardens.com. One day, I noticed that the shop was no longer open and wondered where The Honey Man had gone. It took my new blog and an interest in food entrepreneurism in my home state of Vermont to find him again. (Special note: Caledonia spirits and wines are now available at the old honey house in Ferrisburgh every Fri-Sat, 10-6 PM.)

Two New Businesses
When I caught up with Todd, I found him living and working in the Northeast Kingdom and loving it. We met on the last of the warm days in autumn, beautiful as only a seventy-eight degree day in northern Vermont can be—a very precious gift of a day. I sat with Todd at a small table outside the front door of the operating plant and retail shop of his two new businesses, Caledonia Spirits and Caledonia Winery. We watched the bees, quite happy in the sunlight, fly around our heads in a ring and practically perch on Todd’s fingers. Looking around, I saw two beehives on the corner of the property, a reminder that the new businesses were strongly based on Todd’s old love of bees.

Family History
But Todd also pointed out that his ancestors, true to their Scots' origins, were distillers of 12-year old whiskey, the J. & W. Hardie Ltd Company, which is still based in Edinburgh, Scotland. This meant that the new distillery we sat in front of was now part of a rich multi-generational history.

“People Come Out of the Woodwork”
“People of Vermont support Vermonters," was Todd's comment when we talked about the difficulties of starting a new food-related enterprise. “People come out of the woodwork,” he continued as we discussed the support of the group of outstanding food companies along the banks of the Lamoille River in the Hardwick area of Caledonia County, including the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont Soy, High Mowing Organic Seeds and Pete’s Greens. He calls his fellow food entrepreneurs “courageous and disciplined” because they have managed to make a success of creating a dynamic atmosphere for food companies in the corner of Vermont that has for years been known as a farming community hanging on to much-loved family farms without much prospect.

Sealed with Beeswax
He praised the state laws that allow a distiller to sell in more then one location, and the farmers’ markets that provide lively venues for selling his wares. Todd’s new line of production involves honey-infused vodka and gin, as well as an elderberry cordial and an elderberry wine made from fermented fruit of the local elderberry bush. His handsome bottles are sealed with beeswax, a reminder of how much his new business owes to his old love of bees.

“A Beautiful Mystery”
Leaving Todd in the sunlight, surrounded by his bees, formed a picture in my mind, one that I was reminded of when I read the label of his Barr Hill Vodka. It reads:

“Our relationship with the land and honey bees gave birth to this Vodka. The soul of a beekeeper is filled with the rhythms that flow through the seasons, reflecting the changes in the flowers, rains, sun and all the forces that are part of this beautiful mystery.”

I can’t think of a better way to say it. Try one of his wonderful honey-infused liquors or try his elderberry wine and you are transported to that “beautiful mystery." A rare gift, especially for the holidays!

[caption id="attachment_1532" align="alignnone" width="497"]Photo bar At Caledonia Spirits & Winery with distillery assistant Adam Mitchell[/caption]

Holiday Open House: There will be a Caledonia Spirits & Winery Holiday Open House on Sat, Dec 15 and Dec 22, 10 AM-5 PM in Hardwick, Vermont.

Accolades of Note: Barr Hill Gin won DOUBLE GOLD at the New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC), which was held in NYC on October 21, 2012! Over 34 countries submitted their brands to be critiqued by a hand-selected panel of A-List judges – buyers, retail storeowners, restaurant/bar proprietors, distributors and importers. The judges taste, evaluate and judge close to 400 of the world’s best–distilled spirits, and we had the honor of winning DOUBLE GOLD, the highest rank. WATCH THIS SNAZZY VIDEO ABOUT THE COMPETITION >

Caledonia Spirits & Winery can be found in Hardwick, Vermont, just off Route 15 or at farmers’ markets in Burlington, Montpelier, Johnson and Hardwick. For more information contact Todd Hardie at 802-472-8000 or todd@calendoniaspirits.com.

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2 responses to “Caledonia Spirits & Winery: The Honey Man’s Dream”

  1. Snazzy indeed…It has inspired me to see what comes next in my evolving vision of making brandy from my new fruit trees! CF

  2. I was thnking of Todd to recommend to you at our dinner. I’d say collaboration might be fun!

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