May 23, 2024
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Begin a Sweet New Year With Pure Southern Honey

With Rosh Hashanah around the corner, it’s time to put honey at the top of your shopping list. But honey isn’t a commodity; it comes in many different flavors, with different textures and quality. The final product depends on which flowers the bees get their nourishment from and how the honey is produced.

Pure Southern Honey Holiday

Pure Southern Honey is an all-natural, premium product that first became available direct to consumers in 2019, and to kosher consumers in 2022. Owners Charles and Amber Kinsey brought their honey to a food show last year and got strong interest from the Jewish community. Since their honey is all-natural, it was a swift and easy process to get kosher certification from the Orthodox Union.

The distinctive flavor of Pure Southern Honey comes from floral sources native to Southeast Georgia, where the company is located. The main source is the Gallberry bush, a type of holly bush also known as inkberry. Other species include Tupelo, Blackgum and Palmetto flowers. Dolly Corbett, creative director, described in an email interview what makes their honey special. “Our honey has a unique natural flavor and is very smooth. It does not crystallize quickly, giving it a longer shelf life compared to other kinds of honey, due to the higher pollen count in it.”

Corbett explained that their honey comes “straight from the hive with no additional ingredients or add-ins.” Many companies will mix and heat their honey with honey from other sources to extend the product or improve taste. “Pure Southern Honey derives its flavor from our thousands of beehives, so you can expect to enjoy a consistent flavor,” she said.

Amber Kinsey is the fourth generation of the family to make honey. Her great-grandfather Israel Melton first collected honey by leaving cane sugar syrup around to attract bees. When they finished their meal, he followed them back to their hives. He cut the tree, or section of it with the hive, to take home for his wife and eight children. His son Acline, Amber’s grandfather whom she called “Papa,” took an interest in beekeeping along with his brother and eventually had several hundred hives. Papa never wore a bee veil or gloves and rarely got stung, claiming he was too sweet for the bees, who only stung when they got mad. He passed his knowledge about beekeeping to his son, Tim, Amber’s father. They worked together for 30 years until Papa passed away in 2013.

A bottle of Pure Southern Honey with honeycomb.

Amber began working with bees to help her father starting at age 12. She married Charles Kinsey, son of a beekeeper, and they bought their first hives in 2005. Charles is the beekeeper, managing the company’s 5,000 hives with the help of three employees. Unlike Papa, they wear sting-proof suits, gloves and veils.

Amber had her own career as a nurse but when Pure Southern Honey began selling to consumers in 2019, she resigned to work full-time in the business, which she loves. “Our favorite part of producing and selling honey is being able to share our family’s pride with the rest of the world,” she said. “Providing families across the world with 100% raw, unfiltered and never-heated honey is the best feeling!”

Tim and Harrison, Amber’s father and son.

For the sweetest Rosh Hashanah, and throughout the year, order from Pure Southern Honey at https://puresouthernhoney.com.


Bracha Schwartz is the special sections editor at The Jewish Link.

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