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openhive taste of dublin 1 Producer’s Row Spotlight With Taste Of Dublin: Openhive is delighted to team up with Taste of Dublin for Producer’s Row once again this year, shining a spotlight on fantastic Irish produce and the passionate people behind it all.


Have you always had a great love of food?

Myself, Kyle and Jack all come from separate backgrounds but have a passion for nature, for bees and of course for honey. We all love food and are proud to see OpenHive honey rub shoulders with the best produce in Ireland. 

Can you tell me about your own background in the food industry?

OpenHive is primarily a conservation organisation and the raw Irish honey our native honey bees produce is a part of the project. Having the honey on the shelves and in the kitchens of shops, cafes and restaurants in Dublin, Wicklow and Galway funds our conservation goals. 

What inspired you to set up your business? Did you notice a gap in the market?

We set up the company in 2019 with the aim of helping our native Irish honey bee and keeping bees as sustainably as possible. We use traditional methods of beekeeping with a modern approach. In terms of the food industry – our honey is raw, Irish and we can trace it to the very hive it came from. It’s a genuine local product for our customers and supporters. For us that is very important in a time when a lot of honey sold both ether and abroad is not as it appears to be. 

openhive taste of dublin 1

How did you set up the business and how has it been growing over time?

We were friends first and then began the business together – a risky path but it has gone very well for us, so far! We focused on what we wanted to do as beekeepers, how we would go about achieving that and there has been both an organic growth and a carefully planned development from there. The three of us have worked hard to expand the business over the past five years. It takes time and effort and being part of events like The Taste of Dublin help us get our message to more people. 

Is this your first time taking part in Taste of Dublin?

2024 is our third time at the Taste of Dublin. Each year has been so much fun and also a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded people. The buzz about the festival, the people we met, the food we tasted and the energy we left with made the busy days worth it! We are really looking forward to being a part of it all and in a brand new venue this summer. 

Do you have anything special planned for your stand at Taste of Dublin?

We are excited to talk to people about the native Irish honey bee and to showcase our latest honeys including the heather honey made in the Wicklow mountains which has similar health benefits to Manuka honey from New Zealand (as shown by a recent TCD study).  We will have delicious tasters of all of our range of honeys.

Where do you source the ingredients used to make your product(s)?

Our honey is all Irish, raw and from our hives in Dublin, Wicklow and Galway. We don’t add anything to our honeys – we let the bees forage on the local flora and then jar what they bring in. It’s a pure and very tasty product! 

Can you tell me about some of the benefits associated with your product(s)?

Honey is a natural product, produced by bees. It is full of amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and sugar. As part of a balanced diet, honey can help your immune system, alongside tasting amazing!

How important has social media been for you in spreading the word?

Essential. We have made so many contacts through Instagram and LinkedIn. Both platforms are vital for us in terms of meeting like-minded people, starting conversations and showing people what we do and why we do it. The transparency and the chance to talk directly to customers and stockists alike really appeals to us. 

What makes your product unique?

From a broader perspective the fact that we are a conservation project makes OpenHive honey unique. Every jar sold supports the native Irish honey bee.

From a honey perspective, every jar of honey we produce comes from a specific place where our bees have foraged for that honey. No two apiaries will produce the same flavour, so technically all the apiaries produce unique honey. Raw Irish honey is a healthier, more natural and tastier product than imported supermarket honey.

Where can people get your product (shops, restaurants?)

We sell our products through our website, so we can send our honey directly to your front door. Or you can pick it up in shops, restaurants and cafes in Dublin, Wicklow and Galway. Our full list of stockists is here.  

Can you tell me some of the chefs and restaurants using your produce?

We work with a number of innovative and brilliant chefs including Jess Murphy in KAI (Galway) and Peter Thompson in Flout! Pizza (Belfast). We also supply honey to Bread41 (Dublin), to Camile Thai (nationwide) and to Ard Bia (Galway) to name just a few. Working with chefs is something we really enjoy and we are always looking for new culinary partners. 

What, do you think, are some of the most interesting dishes that have been created with your product? Do you have any favourites?

We have lots of favourites but some standouts would be:

  • White Mausu’s Fermented Chilli Honey
  • Flout! Pizza’s garlic, salt and honey focaccia
  • Bread 41’s honey bread
  • KAI ‘s Burnt OpenHive Gelato
  • Camile Thai’s Honey Duck Stir Fry
  • Hapi Bakery’s Sourdough

Are there any other small Irish food producers you admire?

Of course! We really admire the hard work that Katie,  Casper and their team are doing over at White Mausu. Harry Colley of Harry’s Nut Butter is blazing a trail for Irish food producers. We really enjoyed working with the Wicklow Wolf crew last year and might have something brewing (so to speak!) this year… they’re focused on local suppliers, work so hard and are just really good people. 

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced since going into business?

OpenHive is relatively unique in that we are beekeepers first and business people second, so combining the passion we have for our bees with running a business has been hard at times. We’re constantly learning, studying and developing as a group. 

When we began, all three of us were based in Dublin but now we live in Wicklow and Galway so adapting to that is challenging but as with every other issue we have faced, we are working at it as a team and improving as we go. 

What do you feel is your biggest achievement to date with this business?

We pride ourselves on the education part of our business whereby we take on volunteers and train them in, over the course of a beekeeping season. Not only have we met some wonderful people but being able to pass on the tradition of beekeeping as a life skill and passion means a lot to us. 

Could you ever have imagined doing anything else with your life?

The three of us come from very different backgrounds – the non-profit sector, secondary level education and professional sport, so in a way we have all lived different lives away from OpenHive already. We are very passionate about beekeeping so OpenHive will definitely be a part of our lives. In many ways, it feels like we are only just getting started! 

What does the future hold for your business?

More bees, more honeys and more excitement no doubt! The first 5 years have been a rollercoaster, in the most positive way possible. We have learned so much and grown in many ways. We are really looking forward to seeing where it will all go over the years ahead. 

Anything further to add?

We are very much looking forward to meeting new people and sampling new food at Taste this year!

Taste of Dublin 2024

Dublin’s legendary culinary festival, Taste of Dublin 2024, in association with international home furnishing retailer, JYSK, returns for 2024 from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th June in its new location, the historic Merrion Square. It is expected that more than 34,000 visitors will attend the iconic food and cultural four-day event., Ireland’s largest food, drink and travel website and community, committed to championing Irish artisan producers, giving a platform to up and coming producers and the best Irish brands is delighted to team up with Taste of Dublin for Producer’s Row once again this year, shining a spotlight on fantastic Irish produce and the passionate people behind it all.

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