For more than a decade, Barret Lang has worked to help local food producers sell their products at farmers markets around the area.
Now, he’s giving them a permanent retail outlet, with a new specialty store to open in Odenton later this year.
Lang will open Bear’s Honeypot next month, offering a place to buy locally grown produce and items including cheeses, pastas and jams. The store will be located in the Stone Circle complex on Odenton Road, near the traffic circle.
“We’re going to be really focused on the small producers,” he said. “Pretty much any product made locally, we’ll have it for you.”
Lang, a Crofton native and 2003 graduate of , said he developed an interest in food after working in the produce section of local supermarkets. Over the years, he began helping local food producers sell their products at farmers markets in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia.
He said he’s developed strong ties with the producers and personally visits their farms and the places where food is made.
Lang said small producers don’t have a wide range of places to sell their goods, and that buying from local producers is better for the economy.
“If I buy chicken from the local farmer down the street, he’s going to able to spend more here,” Lang said.
Lang referred to himself as a “cheesemonger” and said he hopes to have a wide variety of local cheeses, including rare sheep cheese.
Bear’s Honeypot also will have milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese curds, all from farmers located within a few hours’ drive. There also will be some local meats, including chicken, though the store does not plan to sell fish.
Lang also will grow tomatoes and basil in pots on the store's front porch, available for people to take.
He said he hopes to connect with the Odenton community, possibly through special events with local wine stores. He plans to offer a 5 percent discount to residents of the new Haven at Odenton Gateway apartments across the street.
“This is a way for people to get good, local products without having to go and spend two or three hours at a farmers market on the weekends,” he said.