In June of 2020, Mike Shadwick and Meredith Gibbons-Shadwick took a leap of faith and opened Honey Bee's Biscuits + Good Eats (www.honeybeesbg.com)
as a food stall in the Kirkwood Farmers' Market. Now, less than two years later, the pair are getting ready to put down roots not far from where it all began. The Shadwicks are excited to announce that they will be opening a Honey Bee's brick and mortar restaurant in downtown Kirkwood, just down the way from the market, finally giving their beloved concept the permanent storefront it deserves.
The Shadwicks announced their plans on social media over the weekend, noting that they will be taking over the former Club Taco's prime corner spot at the intersection of Kirkwood Road and East Jefferson Avenue. For the husband and wife team, the location made sense because of the outpouring of support they have received from the Kirkwood community since their very first day in business.
"Kirkwood has automatically showed up for us since Day One when we sold out the first day at the market," Mike says. "The community has been so incredibly supportive, so it just felt right to be there. The building is the perfect size on the perfect corner. The community has done so much for us and have proven that they will show up if you put out a good product."
For the Shadwicks, a brick and mortar has always been in the back of their minds since they first launched Honey Bee's. Instead of jumping right into that format, however, they took an intermediate step between the stall and a storefront by launching a food truck in February of last year. Like their market stall, the truck was greeted with instant success, prompting the Shadwicks to get serious about finding a place for a standalone restaurant. After putting out feelers with a landlord who owned several properties in the area, they couldn't believe their luck when their dream spot came available.
"We'd always thought that building would be perfect for us, but we didn't think it would ever go anywhere," Mike says. "It has the white brick and black fence that totally fits our brand. It's just one of those crazy stories where it was kind of meant to be."
The Shadwicks are thrilled to have a permanent space for a few different reasons. As Mike notes, having a full, dedicated kitchen and storage area will finally allow them to keep all of their things in one spot, easing the logistical challenges they have encountered since they opened.
"We use the Kirkwood Park commissary, we have another storage space, and I have two food trucks parked permanently at my house," Mike says. "Our neighbors probably think we are insane."
In addition to easing their existing business needs, the new location will finally allow the Shadwicks to expand their offerings and do more cooked-to-order items, something that has been a longtime dream of theirs. They insist they plan on starting out slowly — Mike notes this will be his first time cooking to order in a full-service kitchen — but they look forward to playing around with different ideas and are particularly excited about finally having the chance to cook their eggs to order.
"Eggs are my specialty," Mike says. "I'm excited to finally show off my soft scrambled ones. They are so good and just melt in your mouth."
Starting out, the Shadwicks will offer a menu similar to the one served at their food and market stall, consisting of their signature biscuits, different gravies and a few biscuit sandwiches. They are also excited to partner with local roaster La Cosecha Coffee and plan to offer boozy beverage options as well, including Bloody Mary's, Mimosas and other daytime-focused drinks, all using spirits from local makers such as Switchgrass Spirits and Social Grace Spirits. The restaurant will also serve locally-brewed craft beer and Excel soda.
In the future, the Shadwicks hope to expand their offerings to include more lunch-focused dishes like sandwiches and salads. They also plan on using the space to do pop-ups for other concepts they have been dreaming up over the past year and are open to seeing how things develop once they actually get into the space, including service flow. For now, they plan on having the restaurant set up in a fast-casual format, with guests ordering at the counter, then going through the line and watching as their food gets made in front of them, similar to a Qdoba.
At this point, the Shadwicks do not have a firm opening date for the Honey Bee's restaurant. Though they had hoped to open on the anniversary of the launch of their food truck, February 6th, they believe that is unrealistic and project a March opening, though that is up in the air. Until then, they have been granted permission by Kirkwood to use their patio for pop-ups and to serve guests out of their Honey Bee's trailer. While they are working to get the restaurant up and running, they plan on continuing their food truck, catering and both Kirkwood and Tower Grove farmers market business and insist that all of those operations will stay open even after the restaurant comes online.
"It's a lot of emotions," Mike says. "We're just really excited to get in there and get to work."
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