Grandma Honey’s Pantry Expanding Operations
Inside the shop door of Grandma Honey’s Pantry hangs a decorative sign bearing a quote from Walt Disney. The phrase “If you can dream it, you can do it” is more than just a saying for Joyce Long. It is a mantra and way of life for the proprietor of the thriving Harrisonville business that has been serving up baked goods, canned preserves, grass-fed beef and pork, and farm-fresh organic produce to residents of Virginia for the last four years.
Having started up her business from the confines of her Pleasant Ridge Road home, Long is a prime example of persistence, a trait she feels has been the key to her success.
“I’m one of those people who can’t be told they can’t do something,” said Long, 63. “The key is when you get knocked down in business and in life, you have to get right back up ... Sometime’s it’s a hard crawl.”
Long’s crawl was preparing a variety of baked goods and canned items from within her home’s kitchen and neatly lining up the items on tables in her living room. Times were tight for the first two years with Long not having a penny to her name.
When her brother, Stephen Kendall, stepped in with an offer to construct a bakery during the evenings and weekends adjacent to her home, things began to change for Long.
Already well known in Virginia for her cake-baking business that sold wedding cakes and cakes for festive celebrations to both politicians and celebrities, Long used her marketing knowledge and know-how to set up shop on weekends at Archwood Green Barns Farmers’ Market in The Plains, Va.
From the ham and bean soup and goat cheese, which are favorites of actor Robert Duvall and wife Maria, to power-up bars and fruit and meat pies, Grandma Honey’s Pantry has been a raging success for individuals wanting “real food” at real good prices.
“I’ve always loved to bake, but I couldn’t even boil water when I first got married to my husband, Don,” recalls Long, who is selftaught in many instances. She has, however, supplemented her skills with additional cooking and baking classes. Long elaborated even though she uses some family recipes, including one for raisin-filled cookies that has been traced back well over 100 years, many of her recipes come straight out of her head.
“I like to make my own recipes. I work very hard at it,” stated Long.
The shelves of the Harrisonville bakery and store front house a variety of sweet treats personally prepared by Long and local baker Erica Doyle. The items vary on a weekly basis as well as seasonally, with current selections being breads with fresh herbs, tomatoes and onions, jams, cinnamon rolls, cookies, apple dumplings and pies. Her growing deli selection includes chicken and ham salads; various sides such as baked beans and potato salads; and even homemade salsa.
Most notably, though, would be Grandma Honey’s offering of flavored syrups and honeys that are coincidentally being showcased in the newest catalog edition of Appalachian Home. Through her sales in Appalachian Home, Long donates 30 percent of the proceeds to the Appalachian Christian Network that provides heating, food and housing to those in need.
In addition to persistence and marketing, Long believes there is also a lot to be said for the name of her business, which elicits many questions and praise from customers. According to Long, at the age of two her granddaughter, Laura Beth, began mimicking her grandfather, Don, by referring to Long in conversation as ‘Honey.’ As Laura Beth got older, the name eventually evolved into ‘Grandma Honey.’
Having just opened the doors of her shop for local sales two weeks ago, Long is hopeful her business in Fulton County will be just as successful. Her goal is to expand her bakery and deli to include a more formal storefront for customers to peruse and, of course, promote healthy living and eating.
“There’s nothing in our store in Virginia or here that I haven’t made,” Long said. “I don’t use preservatives, chemicals or MSG. It’s real food. It’s the best I can give them (customers)... My philosophy is to promote all-natural, pure products.”
Residents wishing to sample a taste of Grandma Honey’s Pantry can check out the shop located 2.2 miles south of Harrisonville at 9116 Pleasant Ridge Road during regular business hours that run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
The storefront and bakery will also be open special hours this weekend to accommodate those attending the Fulton Fall Folk Festival. Hours have been expanded to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 14, through Sunday, October 17. Grandma Honey’s Pantry will be offering fresh pressed apple cider and pulled pork sandwiches in addition to a delightful array of fall-inspired baked goods.
Grandma Honey’s Pantry can be found on the Web at www.GrandmaHoneysPantr y.com or information regarding sales and specials may be obtained by calling Long at 717-485-5560.