Good friends discuss their hobbies and passions. Great friends immediately text each other pictures of an exciting food discovery found across the country, describing the flavor, texture and whether it would be too spicy for the other’s palate. Even better friends turn that shared excitement into a business opportunity.
That’s just the kind of friends that Melissa Turpin and Dana Smith, co-owners of Rogers, AR-based Honeycomb Kitchen Shop, are.
“We like to eat and drink and whenever either of us travel, trying local food is always a priority. We might have different tastes in food, but it doesn’t matter,” said Turpin.
This type of dedication to food and their shared passion for cooking led the friends to leave their careers — sales for Turpin and education for Smith — and follow their passion opening Honeycomb Kitchen Shop in 2016.
“We were both established in our careers, but talked about opening a business for a while. We always thought a kitchenware store was a perfect fit,” said Smith.
The downtown of Rogers beckoned to the women, as the culinary scene was really taking hold and has since continued to grow. The store itself reflects the historic downtown appeal of its surroundings with a welcoming, vintage-meets-modern design vibe. A mix of open shelving puts a carefully curated collection of creamy white and cool blue serveware and old-fashioned storage tins into the spotlight. In other areas of the shop, unique fixtures put Honeycomb Kitchen’s wider selection of goods for the kitchen, linens and aprons, shelf-stable treats, as well as a healthy mix of locally made goods, right in the spotlight.
However, Turpin explained that the store wouldn’t have been the same without cooking classes. It would make Honeycomb a destination; allow Smith and Turpin to play off of the culinary climate in the area; but would also allow them to follow their food-loving hearts (and stomachs) and create a business that would reflect their shared passion.
“From the beginning, we also knew we wanted to have cooking classes. We have a love of cooking and use food as a way to connect people and had a goal to have those classes for our community,” Smith said.
In fact, not wanting to wait another minute, Turpin and Smith hosted a class the very day they opened Honeycomb Kitchen in 2016.
While the store began buzzing, customers gravitated towards Honeycomb’s cooking classes and events. To satiate the demand, the duo expanded the store’s class offerings, leveraging a rising interest by locals for cooking and all things food.
For the full story on Honeycomb Kitchen Shop, pick up your copy of the July/August 2020 edition of GOURMET INSIDER or open the digital copy here.