I found myself in Vernon today, which is just south of Metcalfe. Once considered a part of Osgoode, it was amalgamated with Ottawa 2001.
I was there to visit Crerar’s Honey, a long-time producer and supplier of local honey. One might ask what that has to do with local history, but the truth is it does.
The business has been family owned since is was established in 1914, when it was started by Duff Crerar. His family had moved to the Ottawa area from Scotland in 1854. He started the business with a humble beginning and some bee hives. But his business and his bees took a rest when Duff went off to serve in World War One.
After the war, he would later win “Honey King of Canada”, a huge honour within the honey making community. 25 years later his son Ian would also win the honour, using skills that he had learned from his father. As it turned out, ironically, his wife Bette was allergic to bees. Now Jeff, Ian’s son, runs the family business.
Since its small beginning Crerar’s Honey has grown, but has always stayed in the family. It now also supplies honey to locations all over town.
I think its nice to see history play out in local businesses. They all have an interesting story to tell. The store itself displays several old honey cans that they’ve collected over time.
But you don’t go there to see the cans, but for the delicious honey! If you’re in the area, be sure to stop in at their store, located at 8214 Bank street.