Small Town Spotlight: Shelley-based Cox’s packages over one million pounds of local honey annually
POCATELLO — For nearly 100 years, Cox’s Honey has been harvesting and selling its products out of its Shelley home base. These days, they package over one million pounds of honey per year.
“Everyone knows that when they come and get Cox’s, it’s local honey,” Cox’s co-owner Adam French told EastIdahoNews.com.
One of the oldest businesses in the town of Shelley, Cox’s has been in operation since 1927. And after decades of operating out of the same building, they moved to a new building — just about a mile down the road — in April.
Cox’s still owns the old building, using it primarily to store honey before it can be packaged.
The new digs, French explained, allows Cox’s to offer a wider variety of items — with more space and a modern layout.
Beyond honey — available in an assortment of options — visitors to the new Cox’s store can get honey- and bee-related artwork, housewares and even equipment for the aspiring beekeeper.
French spoke to the supportive community that has helped to keep Cox’s afloat for 95 years.
“We have a very good following. I think our base is — once people try Cox’s honey they stick with it,” he said.
He offered an anecdote supporting that opinion, telling EastIdahoNews.com that just prior to its arrival a man was in the store. The man, French said, grew up in the area, but has since moved away.
Having eaten Cox’s honey for 30 years, the man makes it a point to stop in whenever he is passing through town.
“He knows when he comes in he’s getting the same stuff, and that’s why he does it,” French said.
That is true of many people, he added, who grew up with Cox’s honey and find little satisfaction in other brands.
Cox’s honey is locally grown clover honey, French explained. The company owns some 13,000 bee colonies, from Ashton to Montpelier. And even with those numbers, Cox’s buys honey from other local beekeepers, providing a retail option for those business owners and keeping up with demand from their customers.
Springtime, French said, is a popular time for indulgers in local honey. Among the many benefits, honey harvested from local bees provides humans relief from seasonal allergies.
“It does help with allergies, because those bees — the bees will bring in that local pollen, you eat that local honey with the local pollen in it, and your body creates immunities to those allergies,” French said. “Plus, it tastes good.”
Cox’s also keeps the sustainability of the local bees in mind, both for the bees’ sake and the sake of the community.
French said bees are an integral part of our ecosystem. It is through their pollination efforts that plants — fruit trees, vegetables and even flowers — are able to survive and flourish.
So, understanding that bees need honey to survive, Cox’s honey collectors only collect excess, beyond what the hives require.
Cox’s Honey — the new store — is located at 456 North State Street in Shelley. The store is open Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Those products are also available at most eastern Idaho grocery stores and on Amazon.
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