A lot of people are curious to know the backstory of how Melita Honey Farm came to be. Many ask us why… Why honey? Why Chudleigh? Why Melita? Many of our customers want to know where the idea came from to start a honey farm, and what it is that motivates us to create the experience that we have? So in this space on our website we would like to share with you our story.
Melita Honey Farm was founded in 2001 by four members of the Beerepoot family, Henk, Lida, Remmo and Fanny. Having originally migrated from the Netherlands in the early 1980’s the family settled in Tasmania in 1999 after having lived in a number of different mainland states. Oddly enough wherever the family settled they found that beekeepers seemed to find their way into their inner circle. One of these, an old time beekeeper by the name of Bert Daw from Western Australia, planted a seed one day when he mentioned to Henk that it would be a great idea to start a retail store that was focused purely on honey. It was a seed that would germinate many years later.
When the cool climate of Tasmania beckoned the family to move, they settled in the Meander Valley, purchasing a small closed down tea room in the village of Chudleigh. All around the small village of Chudleigh dairy cows graze on lush green meadows beneath the majestic Great Western Tiers. It was not difficult to settle into this piece of paradise. Needing to engage a builder to complete some renovations the family crossed paths with the Norris family, who were not only builders but long time Tasmanian beekeepers. It was now that the seed planted by Bert many years before germinated, and Henk, with his experience in the food and retail industries, saw an opportunity in promoting the unique Tasmanian honey story through a retail experience in the village of Chudleigh - which lies along a main route connecting Launceston with Cradle Mountain.
From modest beginnings the family combined their talents and Melita Honey Farm opened its doors on November the 11th, 2001. Despite the challenges facing the tourism industry at the time in the wake of September the 11th, and the collapse of Ansett Australia Airlines, Melita Honey Farm grew from strength to strength. This wasn’t just a business… it had become a passion - sharing the story of Tasmanian honey with visitors from around the world.In 2013 Henk passed away after a short illness. It was now time for Remmo and Fanny to take over the reigns from their parents. Building on a strong foundation the siblings further expanded the product range and managed the business through an extreme growth phase as Tasmania experienced a boom in both international and domestic tourism.
Just prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Remmo and Fanny had decided that it was time for a transition. In 2021, after a period of due diligence, a Tasmanian investor invested in the business with Remmo and Fanny joining the new management team. This new team is excited about the future of Melita Honey Farm, a well-established producer of pure, handmade honey and beeswax products, which will build further on the legacy and foundation laid down by the Beerepoot family.
About the Name…
Melita is a blend of two Latin words Mel (honey) and Vita (life). Because we didn’t like the way that Melvita rolled off the tongue we decided to drop the “v” and call ourselves Melita. We thought that we were highly original with our newly minted name but just in case we decided to do a little researching on Google.To our surprise our name Melita was not very original at all. In fact it was the name that the island of Malta was previously known by. Malta has a long history of honey production, and the island of Melita was known as the Island of Honey. So despite our name not being highly original, we thought it the perfect fit, as our island home of Tasmania is also well known for its honey, and the name Melita was adopted for our honey farm.
The Beerepoot Family moves to Tasmania and purchase the Chudleigh Tea Rooms in the
centre of the village
After extensive renovations the old Chudleigh Tea Rooms are converted to The Honey Farm which opens its doors in November of 2001.
The Beerepoot family in 2001
The filling of honey jars was originally done by hand using a black 40 litre drum. A painstakingly slow process.
The range of honey products quickly grew. All the jars were packed by hand, the original labels were printed on a trusty Epson inkjet printer and Fanny handcut each label.
As demand grew a filling machine needed to be purchased and a dedicated packing area was built.
The retail store when through the first of many redevelopments. In 2003 the instore museum was added. In 2004 and 2005 further changes were made with the development of dedicated displays for the honey skincare and beeswax candle ranges.
In 2008 the opportunity arose to purchase the property next door to Melita Honey Farm and two years were spent redeveloping the site.
2009 - 2013
Having completed the redevelopment of the site the attention now shifted to the
development of new products – including our Tasmanian Honey Nougat and investing in new machines to improve efficiencies.
Henk passes away and the business transitions to Remmo & Fanny who continue to focus on the retail experience and further product development.
The Beerepoot family sell Melita Honey Farm, however remain actively involved in its management.
Retail & Production Assistant
Melita Honey Farm products are 100% Tasmanian made and owned. We hand make and package our products on site in Chudleigh. We source our honey from Tasmanian beekeepers, and a selection of honey varietals from the Australian mainland. We ensure all of our honey is 100% pure, with no additives or fillers so that you get the best quality Australian honey.