The Honey Shop Connects People with Rhode Island’s Wild Harvests

Woonsocket shopkeeper and forager Kathleen Lavallee teaches students about the healthy foods all around us


For many, the prospect of searching for food outdoors is a daunting task. “We’ve been programmed to not touch certain wild foods because they could be deadly, which in some respects, if you don’t know what you are doing, it could,” says Kathleen Lavallee, owner of the Honey Shop in Woonsocket and experienced forager. “Although once you educate and expose yourself to the wild, I’ve seen a lot of our participants become very hooked on it.”

Originally specializing in organic honey-based products sold in her retail shop, over time, Lavallee has become a resource for all things freshly foraged, homemade recipes, and natural remedies, teaching cooking and foraging classes that help others tap into the ingredients right in our own backyards and outdoor spaces, and learn about clean eating via wild food resources.

“Whether it’s nuts or berries, wild lettuces, wild garlic, or mushrooms, I can fill my trunk every weekend with different food I’ve foraged from the wild,” says Lavallee, lamenting that the training needed to develop an eye for such finds isn’t always available. “It’s amazing to me how much food is around us, and no one recognizes it.”

Lavallee first launched her brand with the creation of Breathe, a honey-based allergy and cold remedy. The Honey Shop opened its doors on Park Avenue in 2014, with a second floor housing a kitchen where Lavallee teaches workshops, and has since evolved into a food and gift store selling a range of organic goods, including oils, vinegars, and other pantry staples, as well as herbal remedies. Having worked in the healthcare industry for 27 years, Lavallee was interested in learning more about alternative medicines, herbalism, and creating healthier and wholesome foods, and teaching these practices to others. Recently acquiring the lower level of the building, the shop now hosts meditation classes and other workshops.

“The crux of our business really is the classes we teach,” said Lavallee. One offering is a month-by-month guide to the wild foods folks can find here in Rhode Island, answering the questions of “What are the habitats and uses of the different things you find, and how can you use them safely?”

In addition to foraging workshops, The Honey Shop offers mushroom hunting, herbalism, and cooking classes, honing in on different focus areas, from ciabatta and focaccia baking to learning how to make your own pastas and cheeses. Lavallee enjoys creating recipes and foods that people love and that translate to home cooking for any level. Most classes can only accommodate 11 people per session and have become a hot commodity in the community. Lavallee says once tickets are posted, they can be sold out by the next day.

“I really love teaching people, and it’s satisfying to see how they develop over time by teaching their families what they’ve learned in our food classes,” she says. “I love the idea of exposing younger people to this alternative that tends to be lost in society nowadays.”

Follow The Honey Shop on Facebook for upcoming classes, and visit to learn more.



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