J Friend & Co
Monday9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Wednesday9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Friday9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
29 Coleridge Street, Canterbury
021 966 151
From time to time, it’s what something isn’t that makes it so special. That’s definitely the case with J Friend & Co, a local honey business started by Christchurch couple Sharyn Woodnorth and Jeremy Friend.
Unlike the gallons of honey being pumped out of giant commercial factories, J Friend’s approach is all about showcasing pure honey with as little intervention as possible. They don’t overheat their honey, they don’t blend honey from different regions and they most certainly do not fine filter it. The result? A carbon neutral nectar (the world’s first, in fact) that is processed in small batches to preserve raw textures, unique character and all those very important natural health properties.
Their story began in 2008 as a side project at the Christchurch Farmers’ Market, but the buzz that quickly surrounded their stall meant it wasn’t long before Sharyn and Jeremy decided to jump head first into the honeypot.
As well as maintaining their own urban apiaries around Canterbury, J Friend nurtures tight-knit relationships with a select group of beekeepers New Zealand-wide. The hives of these hardworking apiarists can be found nestled under Pohutukawas of the Coromandel all the way down through bushes of wild thyme in Central Otago. As part of their mission to return dignity to the artisan beekeeper, each jar of honey recognises the individual responsible for sourcing the goods (so you can thank Bruce or Chris for this morning’s honey on toast).
You can find the J Friend range at independent delis, boutique stores and even on your local supermarket shelves (praise be!), but there’s nothing like encountering the full experience at their humble nook in Waltham. Inside, you’re invited to dip your tasting spoon into caramel-shades of Manuka, Beechwood and White Clover varieties as well as flavours you may be meeting for the first time, like Lavender, Wild Thyme, Blackcurrant and Wildflower. J Friend has also paired up with local mates to create sweet collaborations, including a line of Fix & Fogg peanut butter and honey, Six Barrel Lemon Honey Ginger Syrup, Bonnie Oatcakes and a jar of Beechwood Honey packed in with North Canterbury Hazelnuts.
Jeremy and Sharyn have restored personality to honey, creating a trustworthy and utterly lip-smacking product that can be traced back to its source, vintage, region and beekeeper. It really is the honeymoon period that never ends.
Words by Maggie Worthington & Photography by Nancy Zhou
29 Coleridge Street, Canterbury
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