A 2006 graduate of the University of Georgia, Johnson founded Bear Hug Honey Company in 2017. The specialty honey shop is located on College Avenue, in sight of the Arch.
How has Athens changed since you opened?
Businesses have come and gone. We recently lost Frontier, and that was always one of my favorite shops downtown; had been here forever. I was bummed to see Frontier go, but you see new places pop up that are fun and unique.
Do you have any favorite places to take people when they visit from out of town?
I always recommend, whenever people are in our shop, Community, which is right around the corner. I tell people to go there and then Wuxtry. I love records and going to Wuxtry. There are some cool vintage shops downtown. Atomic is one of my favorite spots and I go there quite often.
Where are your favorite places to eat?
I love The National, Seabear and Last Resort. Our spicy honey is on the table at Ted’s Most Best, and that’s always fun. I just had somebody walk in the shop, and that’s how they found out about it — eating at Ted’s and trying our Sriracha honey on the pizza.
Has the local honey scene changed?
You know, there are a lot of great beekeepers in town. There’s us, a group called Classic City Bee and also Booger Hill Honey. I think it’s good to be able to give options to people.
This interview originally ran in the Fall 2019 issue of Eat & Drink Athens, GA