KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A West Knoxville farm has a unique creation for those who like the taste of honey and its natural health benefits.
Honey Jellies, made by Honeyberry Farm at 2012 Tooles Bend Road, have been around since the 1990s. But with the help of a big store contract you may be hearing more about them.
What Brenda Camp Hubbell makes are jellies that are 80-90% honey with the texture of a smooth jelly. "It's not runny honey," she always says.
"I could eat the bottom of hot sticky buns so when I wanted an extension of my product line, I knew what direction I wanted to go. I tell people I am wearing the first 10 pounds," she said with a laugh.
That love of sticky buns, coupled with her work as a food technologist, helped her develop Honeyberry Farm and nine honey jellies.
The unique blend landed her in several high profile places. "We got into Biltmore and Monticello's gift shop," she said.
But more needed to be done to answer lingering questions about Brenda's products. "People did not know what honey jelly was so we had to figure out a way to get a spoonful in everyone's mouth.
Honeyberry Farm started hitting the food show circuit and food festivals. Now their product is in nearly all of the states east of the Mississippi.
And in the last several years, Brenda has added a director of sales to help keep things moving in the right direction.
Jenna Karakatsanis spends countless hours helping to promote the product, and she says the added health benefits of replacing fruit juice and sugar with natural honey is easy to sell.
"The calorie count is super low. The flavor is bold. You can still get a nice, good snack in, but you're not building up calories and fat and all that other stuff," Jenna said.
Of course, it's not just good for your waistline. There are even more health benefits.
"With anything that is honey, you're going to get allergy benefits. But of course you've also got antioxidants, a lot of other healthy added benefits to anything that's got honey in it," Jenna explained.
Honeyberry Farm uses Dutch gold. It's all U.S. honey that's either clover or orange blossom honey in its jellies.
The other ingredients are chosen very carefully. "For the rose balsamic, we clip it fresh. For pecans, it's got diced pecans," Jenna said.
Recently some Kroger stores added Honeyberry Farm's honey jellies to their shelves.
While technology and factories could make the bottling and labeling process simpler, Honeyberry Farm is sticking with tradition. "It has to be hand poured. It has to be the same way she has always made it," Jenna said.
You can order honey jellies online or buy them at several farmer's markets in our area.