Another beloved, longstanding Okotoks business is saying goodbye.
Chinook Honey Company will soon be closing its doors, with owners Art and Cherie Andrews retiring.
They made the announcement on Feb. 17 via Facebook and have been working to sell their remaining stock in the week since.
Cherie says it's just time for them to move forward.
“The thing about a business like this is, it takes a lot of energy, a lot of time. That just doesn’t last forever, we all get older. I’m 67, Art’s almost 72. We’re wanting to take a break, relax, rest, enjoy our location here, and do different things.”
They had originally planned for their retirement nearly 19 years ago in June of 2004.
“This is our retirement job after we both retired from the airline business… Art was a pilot for Canadian and Air Canada and I was a flight dispatcher… It’s time for a re-retirement.”
What started as a hobby soon grew into a thriving business offering a wide range of honey products including mead, soap, candles, balms, and lotions, to name a new.
Their announcement post was met with hundreds of reactions, comments, and shares from locals.
“I guess you don’t really know that until something like this happens. I guess for this length of time, it’s not just with individuals but it’s whole families that we’ve been a part of over these many years. It’s rewarding and kind of amazing that people have been with us so long,” says Cherie.
The Andrews had planned on selling the business and are still fielding inquiries.
Cherie would love to see Chinook Honey live on with new owners.
“We hope that, as they say, from the ashes something will arise, and we’ll be able to nurture and develop someone else taking over the business.”
They had originally planned to close on March 15, but the overwhelming response and demand led to them pulling that date back to Feb. 28.
They've been working on fulfilling online orders and are continuing to do so, though Cherie says they've still got a sizable stock of mead that will continue to trickle onto local stores.
For now, they don’t have any major holiday plans or other retirement hobbies in mind and are just looking forward to taking things slow.
“If we had the opportunity and the time, we’d have a big party, but last weekend with everyone in the store it was a bit of a party atmosphere. It was wonderful.”