Governor Northam announces a winetastic surprise

RICHMOND, Va. – While Virginians headed into the weekend possibly looking to drink a glass of wine after getting through the work week, Governor Ralph Northam announced that a honey wine producing company is moving to the Commonwealth.

Haley’s Honey Meadery, LLC, a producer of honey wine, is opening a new Virginia farm winery licensed facility in the City of Hopewell’s revitalizing downtown, according to a release from the Governor’s office.

“The decision by Haley’s Honey Meadery to locate in downtown Hopewell, along with their commitment to source 100 percent of their ingredients from Virginia growers, demonstrates the impact that the agricultural sector can have on urban areas of our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Investments like this create jobs, generate the sweet buzz of tourism, and grow the tax base, while providing new markets for Virginia’s farmers. We thank the company for choosing the City of Hopewell and look forward to their future success in the Commonwealth.”

Officials say that they are expecting for the company to bring jobs to the area and over the next three years, bring an additional $85,000 in new investment to a renovated historic commercial building, and purchase almost $120,000 in Virginia-sourced honey.

“We are very excited to receive these grant funds from the AFID program. This money will make it possible for us to expand our honey business by launching a micro-meadery in Hopewell. We will be able to revitalize a building for production, add a patio, and a retail space,” said Tonya and Mike Haley, owners of Haley’s Honey Meadery. “Our passion is to support local farmers and educate people about beekeeping. Our goal is merge the old and new ways of beekeeping and reintroduce mead to the public by crafting it in small batches using Virginia products. We are going to educate people on the history of the oldest fermented drink and through this, continue our efforts to inform the public about the importance of the honeybee and their plight.”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with the City of Hopewell Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Haley’s Honey Meadery to secure this project for Virginia.

Governor Northam approved a $12,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Hopewell will match with local funds.

“The City is excited to see yet another business coming to downtown Hopewell,” said Jackie M. Shornak, Mayor of the City of Hopewell. “The City is proud to offer incentives through the local enterprise zone program reducing start-up costs for businesses and are grateful for the support from Governor Northam and Secretary Ring through the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund.”