Honeyville – Durango, Colorado - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

Honeyville

This bee-themed family business does more with honey than anyone would think was possible. 

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Off the side of U.S. Route 550, north of Durango, Colorado, lies a monument to all things apicultural. On the porch sits a large stuffed bear reminiscent of many Western establishments lounges on a bench. Inside, a wide array of honey products line the shelves, ranging from food items to ointments to alcohol. A beehive in a glass case encourages you to find the queen amidst her teams of workers. This is Honeyville, a family business that began over a century ago.

Honeyville found its start in California in 1918, when the Mayer family decided to start a honey retail business. They soon made their way to Colorado, where they joined forces with Vernon Culhane, a local beekeeper. He would bring his honey south to downtown Durango and sell it directly from his truck into the containers of his eager customers. This earned him the moniker “The Falfa Honey Man” after the small community of Falfa where he lived. One of his biggest customers was the Mayer family, who had now moved to the present location north of Durango.

Culhane, who loved honey so much he brought a hive with him during his military service, kept trying to find innovative new ways to use honey. He soon incorporated honey into jams and jellies, and created Honeyville’s signature Cinnamon Whipped Honey. In 1986, Culhane’s son and daughter-in-law acquired Honeyville from the Mayers and began selling their products directly through Honeyville. 

These days, Honeyville’s store has outgrown its own production, and sells bee-produced products from all over the Rockies. The Culhanes still make sure all the honey is produced at high altitude. They also keep expanding their range of products. In 2014, Vernon’s grandson Kevin began his own on-site whiskey distillery, Honey House, the first legal distillery in the county since Prohibition. Indeed, no matter what you’re looking for, Honeyville is probably trying to find a way to make it out of honey.

Know Before You Go

Honeyville is a prominent landmark on the side of US Route 550, and is open year-round.

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December 13, 2023

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