Small town spotlight: Cox’s, based in Shelley, packs over a million pounds of local honey a year

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POCATELLO — For nearly 100 years, Cox’s Honey has been harvesting and selling its products from its headquarters in Shelley. These days they pack over a million pounds of honey a year.

“Everyone knows when they come for Cox’s, it’s local honey,” Cox co-owner Adam French told EastIdahoNews.com.

One of the oldest businesses in the town of Shelley, Cox’s has been in business since 1927. And after decades of operating in the same building, they moved to a new building – about a mile away – in April.

After operating from the same location for decades, Cox’s Honey opened a new location in April. The company still owns the old location, but uses it primarily for storage. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com

Cox’s still owns the old building, using it primarily to store honey before it can be packaged.

The new digs, French says, allow Cox’s to offer a wider variety of items — with more space and a modern layout.

Beyond Honey – available in an assortment of options – visitors to the new Cox’s store can get honey and bee-related artwork, household items and even equipment for the budding beekeeper.

Spotlight on the small town.  Cox's Honey
In addition to their many honey options, including honeycomb, Cox’s also sells supplies for the budding beekeeper. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com

French spoke to the supportive community that has helped keep Cox afloat for 95 years.

“We have a very good audience. I think our base is – once people try Cox’s honey, they stick with it,” he said.

He offered an anecdote to support this opinion, telling EastIdahoNews.com that just before he arrived, a man was in the store. The man, French said, grew up in the area but has since moved on.

Having eaten Cox honey for 30 years, the man makes it a point to stop by every time he passes through town.

“He knows when it happens that he gets the same thing, and that’s why he does it,” French said.

This is the case for many people, he added, who grew up on Cox’s honey and find little satisfaction in other brands.

Spotlight on the small town.  Cox's Honey
Cox’s sells honey in a variety of ways, including flavored honey sticks. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com

Cox honey is locally grown clover honey, the Frenchman explains. The company owns some 13,000 bee colonies, from Ashton to Montpelier. And even with those numbers, Cox’s buys honey from other local beekeepers, providing a retail option for those business owners and meeting their customer demand.

Spring, according to French, is a popular time for lovers of local honey. Among the many benefits, honey harvested from local bees relieves humans of seasonal allergies.

“It helps with allergies, because these bees – the bees will bring in this local pollen, you eat this local honey with the local pollen, and your body creates immunities against these allergies,” French said. “Besides, it tastes good.”

Cox’s also keeps the sustainability of local bees in mind, both for the good of the bees and the good of the community.

French says bees are an integral part of our ecosystem. It is through their pollination efforts that plants – fruit trees, vegetables and even flowers – are able to survive and thrive.

So, understanding that bees need honey to survive, Cox’s honey collectors only collect excess, beyond what the hives need.

Cox’s Honey — the new store — is located at 456 North State Street in Shelley. The store is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit Cox’s Honey on their company website or Facebook page to see more of their products.

These products are also available at most eastern Idaho grocery stores and on Amazon.

Small Town Spotlight wants to shine a light on everything happening in small town Idaho. If you know someone or something in one of Idaho’s many small towns that deserves to be featured on Small Town Spotlight, email [email protected] and include “spotlight” in the subject line.

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