Could Chapel Hill natives be as mellow and laid-back as Californians? Annie Heth, the manager of Honeysuckle Teahouse and Cafe and a UC Berkeley graduate, sure thinks so.
The Honeysuckle Teahouse is an open-air farm stand built on repurposed shipping containers located on Pickards Meadow Road in Chapel Hill. The teahouse serves tea, coffee, smoothies and pastries. It is positioned on 225 acres of land, including the Keith Arboretum.
From the winding arboretum trails to lowly swinging hammocks that gently brush against the wildflowers, the teahouse offers a peaceful and natural escape from the hustle-and-bustle of Chapel Hill.
“People are so generous to our baristas,” Heth said. “It’s a very laid-back vibe. No one is upset if they have to wait in line at the teahouse — they’re just happy to be there.”
The Flavor: Unique and Home-Grown
You can’t talk about Honeysuckle without mentioning their teas. Most of the herbs and fruits used in the beverages are grown on the property.
“One of our super popular teas is ‘soothing blooms,’ which has lemon balm, apple, mint, rose petals, chamomile and lavender,” said Heth.
“Another crowd favorite is the ‘nourishment’ tea,” Heth said. Nourishmint is made with Honeysuckle-grown mint leaves.
In addition to an extensive menu of green, black, oolong, white and herbal teas, the teahouse serves homemade smoothie bowls.
“The bee’s knees smoothie bowl was a big hit two years ago, and we decided to add it back to the menu this year,” Heth said. The bee’s knees bowl has a banana, date, mango, chai and coconut base.
“The smoothie bowls are topped with granola and [edible] flowers and strawberries, which are grown on the property,” Heth said.
The Community: Building Connections and Excitement
Honeysuckle marries its role as a community hub for relaxation and socializing to its role as a sustainable farm-to-beverage business model.
“People love it for the tea but come back again because of the space,” Heth said. “It’s a playground for kids and adults.”
In addition to a playground for children to play on, the farm property encourages adults to release their inner children by playing the corn hole and disc golf games.
To extend their reach to more families outside of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, the Honeysuckle Teahouse is hosting more events throughout the coming spring and summer seasons.
“We have full moon events every month with tastings and a bonfire, and are holding movie nights,” Heth said.
Honeysuckle also shows its dedication to community building through its support of other local businesses.
“Community is everything, especially for places like local coffee shops and teahouses,” Heth said.
Honeysuckle uses Maple View Farm milk products and is currently working on a partnership with Lavender Oaks Farm for a lavender tea. It also partners with Unique Places to Save, a nonprofit centered on land conservation. This nonprofit works to preserve and sustain places with the goal of bringing people closer to nature and one another.
Half of all profits from the teahouse and cafe go to Unique Places to Save.
The Honeysuckle Cafe: Expanding into the Carrboro Camaraderie
Honeysuckle recently took over Looking Glass Cafe in Carrboro and rebranded it as the Honeysuckle Cafe.
In addition to bringing in oak tables and desks for studying, the Honeysuckle Cafe offers a sizeable food menu, including paninis and baked goods.
“We are hoping to make it more family friendly,” Heth said. “We want Honeysuckle Teahouse and Cafe to be staples in the community.”
Honeysuckle Teahouse opened for its fifth season on April 6 and will remain open on Fridays through Sundays into the early fall. The Honeysuckle Cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
“A lot of places, you go and drink your coffee and move on, but at the Teahouse, people stay all afternoon,” Heth said.