Our first founder: Tique Chandler.
Tique has transformed the (amazing!) raw creamed honey from her family's farm in Alberta into a divine culinary experience. Her flavours are some of the best we've had (and she's a wonderful person too).
Case in point: Tiques Raw Creamed Lemon-Ginger Honey that we can't get enough of, made with freshly zested lemons and ginger.
- Your honey is obviously divine. In your words, what makes Chandler Honey different?
Firstly, there is honey itself. All of our honey is sourced from my parents' farm in Alberta where I grew up, and their farm has been in operation since 1937. My family knows and utilizes the best practices of beekeeping to keep the bees happy and healthy, which produces the best tasting honey. In addition, the dry climate and prairie flowers in Alberta make for the most divine, light-coloured, smooth-flavoured honey. I'm biased, but it's my favourite raw honey in the whole world.
Secondly is the 'magic' that I add to the honey right here in Toronto. I small-batch stir the honey for 48-hours to give it that creamy, spreadable texture without robbing the honey of its natural raw benefits. I also add the finest ingredients (like lemon zest
that I microplane by hand or vanilla bean that I scrape myself) to make really unique flavours. I never use any 'shortcut' ingredients like oils, extracts, or preservatives.
If the bees have taught us anything, it's that there are no shortcuts in making something delicious. It's always worth the extra effort when making a product you're proud of!
- What’s your “Why” behind starting Chandler Honey?
I grew up being very involved on the farm and have always found satisfaction in doing things with my hands. After University, I worked in technology sales and learned a ton about people and relationships, but I knew it was never my true passion. I wanted to get away from sitting behind a computer all day and make a tangible product that I knew could bring joy into people's lives.
It was a natural fit to get into the honey business because I had all this wonderful background knowledge with my family's history. I feel so lucky that I've been able to put a spin on it to truly make it my own!
- Favourite unconventional thing to do with honey.
Honey is a wonderful natural moisturizer! As a teenager working on the honey extraction line, I noticed my hands (and hair!) were always so soft after being covered in honey all day. It turns out that honey holds onto water really well, which is why, to this day, I like to leave honey on my dry skin for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.
- What are some of your favourite tools or rituals for mental health upkeep in your own life?
This winter has been particularly challenging for mental health - I don't think I need to tell anyone that. One way that I love to care for myself is to get up and have a slow, mindful cup of tea with honey before starting my emails for the day (am I allowed to shoutout Lake & Oak here for their wonderful teas?). I'll use this quiet time to pet my dog, read a few pages from a book, journal, or simply do nothing for 20 minutes. It's a really lovely way to slow life down.
- What is one challenge (mental, physical or other) that you’re especially proud of yourself for overcoming?
Starting a company in the middle of a pandemic was certainly a challenge! I had planned on launching much earlier in the year in 2020, but I faced delay after delay with Covid. The final piece was waiting on jars to arrive from Italy, which took two and half months! Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing, so I'm really proud of the patience that I needed to trust the process and keep my sanity.
- What is inspiring you the most right now?
Reading for pleasure! Somewhere along the way, I completely forgot that I was allowed to read just for fun. In University, we get into the habit of only reading textbooks. Afterwards, some of us fall into the trap of mostly reading self-improvement business books or really challenging 'classic' novels. I found myself only caring about the tally of books I had read, rather than if I had enjoyed myself while reading them. Lately, I've been reading absolutely for enjoyment. This has meant a surprising amount of fantasy and witches and knights. This has really inspired me to look at my life differently and realize that life isn't always meant to be optimized; it is meant to be enjoyed 😊