Every community has anchors. These are businesses that, in spite of economic difficulties stay the course due to the ties they have to their communities. In Mexicantown Honeybee market is one such anchor.
Started by Geraldo Alfaro in 1956 and passed on to third generation family, Honeybee is also call “La Colmena” which means “the hive where the bees gather”.
In a city devoid of major supermarket chains Honeybee has quietly grown from a neighborhood grocery and bodega to become a major food destination, not only for local residents, but for suburbanites, too. In addition to a fully stocked meat and seafood counter Honeybee has a hot foods counter with Mexican specialties. Honeybee also has a great produce section carrying the freshest produce in the city. In addition to the basics Honeybee carries the freshest chilies(I counted 7 varieties), Cactus, Tomatillos, Chayote, Guava…well I could go on and on.
When you enter Honeybee you are greeted by samples. Freshly made salsas and guacamole are offered along with crisp tortilla chips to entice you. Ever wonder about that fruit and if its really ripe? No problem! I found many produce items with a sample cut open so you could see what was inside the skin. Freshness never seemed better!
In the seafood counter was shrimp, fresh fish and octopus for the asking and all cuts of meat, as well as, regional specialties such as tripe and tongue. The prices were on par, if not better than, any supermarket in the suburbs.
I mentioned the hot foods counter earlier. When I stopped by there was quite a line. Tacos, Tamales, Barbacoa (BBQ) were on the menu. On Saturday and Sunday the have a specialty that I think is unique to Honeybee. Although it is a Latin American specialty I don’t believe steamed cow’s head is offered any place else in Detroit. If you don’t believe me watch the travel channel to hear how good the meat from the head can be. Anthony (Bourdain) and Andrew (Zimmern) will tell you!!
Honeybee Market is open Monday through Saturday (8 AM – 8 PM) and Sunday (8AM-6 PM)
Honeybee Market – La Colmena
Detroit, Mi 48216