The Honeybee Cafe becoming Sullivan’s go-to spot for breakfast and lunch

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 5:24 PM EDT
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SULLIVAN, Maine (WABI) - For nearly two decades, Chester Pikes Galley was the go-to spot for food in Sullivan, and when it closed in 2020, it left a void along Route 1 for both locals and tourists alike.

That is, until last summer, when The Honeybee Cafe took it’s place. It’s been a bit of a journey for The Honeybee, but one well worth taking.

Lexi Howland opened The Honeybee Cafe in June, and when the owner of the building decided to sell this winter, she decided it was time to go all in.

“We were so new, that I wasn’t ready to see it go yet,” Howland recalled. “I wasn’t ready to run the risk of somebody buying the building and having us get kicked out. So we worked really hard, saved up the money, and with that we were able to expand the menu and do things we weren’t able to do before.”

The main thing the cafe wasn’t able to do before? Serve bacon. Or sausage. Or any meat at all. Lexi was forced to open The Honeybee Cafe as a vegetarian restaurant according to the lease, making traditional breakfast sandwiches for traveling tourists difficult, and not worth bothering with a lunch menu.

“There’s nothing that beats a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. As soon as we got the closing date, I sent in my order to Sysco,” said Howland. “The Sysco rep, he sent me a text message and he goes, ‘Are you serving meat now?’ He couldn’t believe it.”

Now, the once grab-and-go vegetarian stop has a full breakfast and lunch menu to go along with a small dining area for families to sit and have a bite.

And where not being able to serve bacon might’ve stopped some from opening a breakfast place, the cafe’s owner says not trying to make it work, would’ve been worse.

“I just really wanted an opportunity to do something that I was proud of, that I put my own work into, and I wanted to try my best,” Howland said. “My mom said, ‘If you don’t do it, you’re going to regret it your whole life. If you do it and you fail, then you’ve learned something. But if you don’t do it, you’re going to regret it.’”

No regrets. Not from the Honeybee Cafe, and least of all, its customers.

“A lot of excited people who really missed having a breakfast spot, they really wanted that back. And we’re really happy to bring that back to the area,” Howland said.

For more information on The Honeybee Cafe, you can follow them on Facebook.