Started gardening and I wanted to be able to utilize the herbs, the vegetables, and the fruits that I was growing myself. I feel strongly about utilizing things that are natural and from the earth…
We chatted with Kristy Honaker, of Hona Goods, we chatted about favorite products from those in the fermented field to a line of infused, pickled and dried items, all locally grown and harvested in the area.
Christy Honaker 01:10
My name is Christy Honaker. I was born in Illinois, moved to La Crosse in 2016. And I got into homemade goods pretty young. I’ve always been a fan of baking. But just more recently, I’ve been baking for friends for parties and just trying to utilize things from my garden. So it’s always been a love.
Brent Hanifl 01:34
So how did the business start? That’s, how do you pronounce it, Hona Goods?
Christy Honaker 01:37
Yeah, it’s Hona Goods. So my last name is Honaker. And so Hona Goods is the business name.
Brent Hanifl 01:44
So how did that come about just your natural kind of progression from doing a lot at home and then?
Christy Honaker 01:49
Yeah so I actually started gardening, having my own garden. And I wanted to be able to utilize the herbs, the vegetables and the fruits that I was growing myself. Because I really just feel strongly about utilizing things that are natural and from the earth. And so just being able to take those things from my own garden. So that’s kind of just how it blossomed. I just started using things for my own garden. And people were like, this is really good. Like, you know, you should start a business, you should make this for other people. And so I hadn’t really thought about starting it into a business, but I just I wanted to kind of test the waters and see what the response was from other people. So that’s kind of how it just came about. I was like, you know what, I’m just gonna dive right in and go for it and see what kind of feedback I get from people.
Brent Hanifl 02:39
For someone just jumping in and finding your business, you have a number of different products from you know, it looks like balms to canned goods to cookies to drinks and things like that. Can you just give us a variety of what you offer?
Christy Honaker 02:52
Yeah, so my products are seasonal, because obviously I’m trying to use things that are local that are from my own garden and things that are in season at present because that was the whole idea behind this. I wanted to connect people to the earth and so I have calendula salve, which is really good for dry skin, Eczema. You can even put it on wounds to help with healing. So what I do is I infuse that sweet almond oil with the calendula flower. And then I mix it in with a few other things to actually make this out of itself. I have fire cider tonic, which is apple cider vinegar that’s fermented and infused with things that are warming, jalapeno, onion, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and so that’s a drink that’s considered a tonic to help people kind of beat colds and viruses. And it’s really good for your immune system. I do have some lip balms that I made, I’m actually going to be working on making some beard balm as well. My husband thinks you know his face gets really dry in the winter. And just trying to think about you know, going forward, what are some comforting things for people in the winter? Apples, I love to use apples in the fall because it’s just such a great flavor. You know, it reminds people of being able to harvest and pick their own. So I have apple butter, I have pumpkin butter, I really do have quite a few different things. And so it’s keeping me busy. I just made an herbal bath tea with a lot of herbs that I dried from my own garden, some oat flour and Epsom salt for just a super relaxing bath time experience.
Brent Hanifl 04:25
Cool. So how did COVID affect you? And the business? You know, we’ve talked to artists and different businesses, small businesses, and some of them actually had some time to kind of think about it and kind of kick off their business. How did COVID affect yours?
Christy Honaker 04:38
Yeah, so I actually started this business about three or four months ago. So I really I have been able to do a lot of things online. That’s kind of where it started kicking off for me. And I’ve made some connections within the La Crosse community that have just been so amazingly supportive, and I have been able to sell things at Ohlala Consign in Jackson Plaza. And I think, I feel like right now, the people that I have met have just been so wonderfully supportive during this time, because I feel like they know that it’s just hard for people and making that connection with other small businesses. I’ve done some events outside. And so I’m going to continue to do that. I haven’t done any indoor events at this point, but just trying to make those connections. And I think that COVID really has just opened up a lot of people’s eyes to realize, like, we just need our community right now. You need to support people.
Brent Hanifl 05:33
With your business and maybe yourself personally, what are you excited for the next year or two? You kind of talked about getting out and about vending? What’s on the horizon for the business?
Christy Honaker 05:42
Yeah so actually, I’m looking forward to potentially doing a plant and seed swap next spring. So stay tuned for that, my hope is that I can get some people in the area to try their hand at gardening and planting some things and realizing for yourself how easy it is to make your own stuff and to just connect with the land. I’m just excited about the seasons changing and just experimenting with new flavors and different different plants and products.
Brent Hanifl 06:13
So where can people you know, follow along to find out more? What’s the best avenue for them?
Christy Honaker 06:18
Yeah, so mostly I’m doing things on Facebook so they can find what events I’ll be at. They can message me directly on Facebook. My handle is facebook.com/HonaGoods, that’s H-O-N-A Goods one. They can also send me an email at email@example.com as well.
Brent Hanifl 06:36
And if people are in the area, can they pick this up anywhere?
Christy Honaker 06:39
Yes. So if they, if they want to connect with me directly, I can, I do small delivery charge. I do ship for the cost of shipping and if people want to feel that they feel comfortable, they can come into my house and pick it up from my doorstep. It just really depends on what people are interested in and how they want to connect with me and then also I am selling goods at Ohlala Consigns in Jackson Plaza on the south side.
Amy Gabay 07:08
La Crosse Local Podcast is a production of River Travel Media. Do you have an interview idea you’d like to share with us? Message us on Facebook at La Crosse Local. Find out more about us at lacrosselocal.com and you can subscribe to the La Crosse Local podcast on your favorite podcast app. If you like us, rate us five stars. We appreciate it.
About La Crosse Local
La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.
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