If we are lucky, we meet people who radiate happiness. LaDonna Andrews of Sweet Combs of Honey in Lavonia is one of the happiest and joyful people you can meet. Andrews is originally from Lavonia, but her career carried her far and wide away from her hometown. With a career primarily in criminal justice and sales, she moved around from Florida to Austin, Texas. While in Austin, Andrews got a call from her nephew who wanted to enhance his organic farm efforts with bees, and therefore, honey. She jumped right in to help her nephew and soon, the honey business was a full-time effort. Then two events propelled her on a journey back to her hometown and her passion, Sweet Combs of Honey.
An avid hiker, Andrews had a recommendation from a friend that she should participate in the “Camino Del Santiago.” The Camino Del Santiago is a hike from St. John, France across the northern part of Spain. The walk is a pilgrimage for many who follow the “Way of St. James.” The Apostle James was beheaded in Jerusalem and the legend is that his remains were carried to Santiago Spain where they were buried in the City of Santiago. The path, along old Roman roads is popular with many people and hundreds walk the route yearly. It generally takes about 35 to 40 days to walk the route, according to Andrews.
In addition to the walk, Andrews father became ill and the call to return home to Lavonia became too strong to ignore. Once ensconced in Georgia, Andrews joins forces with her sister, Lori, who had retired from her social security career. The two sisters began their retail offerings in Gumlog. Quickly outgrowing Gumlog, Andrews found space in a historic building in downtown Lavonia. Once the retail space in Lavonia became a reality, Andrews says, “I joined everything” and became a central figure in events in Lavonia. On Saturdays in the Summer, she can be found manning a booth at the farmer’s
market helping promote not only the artists she carries, but also the town and the farmers.
In the store, Andrews features local artists and crafters. Her passion is to give young artists a venue to showcase their talent. The store is filled with pottery, art, handmade leather goods, knives, soaps and, of course, over 30 flavors of honey. In the front of the store is a “honey bar”where patrons can mosey up and sample all of the honey. Inside and out, there are fresh cut flower bouquets and herb plants along with other delights for the garden. The store is jam packed and one the best shops in the region for locally produced items as well as just some great fun with LaDonna and Lori, and if you are lucky, their Mother who stops in most days around lunch. Look no further for unique gifts and decor, each with a story and in support of our local community.
Andrews also enjoys hosting events on a long farmhouse table in the center of the store. From wine tastings to cheese sampling and more, the calendar offers a number of events each month. Seating is limited, so you want to be sure and secure your place. You are sure to meet great people, hear a story or two and have a good laugh while you learn a thing or two.
Sweet Combs of Honey is across from Synovous Bank in downtown Lavonia.