True To Its Name and Sweet As Can Be
Eleanor Dziuk knew there were plenty of beekeepers in Arizona, but she wasn’t seeing their honey for sale at local farmers markets, so in 2001, she set out to change that.
“Most beekeepers are very, very busy people,” Eleanor said. “They don’t have time to be at the markets.”
Now, she and her family sell a variety of honey and honey products, including honeycomb, pollen, propolis and honey lozenges, from eight local beekeepers.
“Mesquite, desert wildflower, right now we have autumn harvest, camelthorn,” Eleanor listed. “We always have several different kinds.”
The type of honey is determined by the type of nectar the bees collect, Eleanor explained. Absolutely Delightful also offers a variety of flavored and infused honey varieties, including ginger, lemon, peach, lavender, and more. Pumpkin spice is, of course, a favorite each fall, now currently available.
Absolutely Delightful has developed such a following that they put a loyalty program in place, which also promotes the reuse of their honey jars. Customers bring back a well-cleaned jar for a point toward a free jar!
Through the 16 years since Eleanor started, she has continued to learn from her beekeepers about the production and uses of honey.
“I like working with honey because it’s not just selling honey,” she said. “It’s so diverse. As the seasons change, you get different honeys, and every year can be different.”
Each type of honey has its own particular flavor profile, altered slightly each harvest depending on the source blossoms’ weather and environment.
“Then, I like that you can add different stuff to honey for flavor because honey never goes bad, nothing grows in honey,” she continued. “It’s just a wonderful, natural product.”
Absolutely Delightful’s honey is raw and produced locally, all within a few hours drive of the Valley. Winslow is the furthest of any of the hives that produces Absolutely Delightful honey, Eleanor said.
Eleanor is a familiar face at the Phoenix Public Market, both a longtime vendor and a market board member. At the market Saturday mornings, sometimes along with her daughter, Annalee, Eleanor can help you find the perfect honey for your needs, and often with a sweet sample!
If you have a fascination with beekeeping and want to gain a deeper understanding of what it entails, join Absolutely Delightful at the first Arizona Honeybee Festival hosted by Agave Farms! The festival is at Agave Farms on Central ave., between Glenrosa ave. and Turney ave. on November 18th.
Written by Marlys Weaver-Stoesz