Akron Honey Company brings the one-day only block party back to the bee farm

written by Derek Kreider; feature image courtesy of Akron Honey Co.

What has eight local small businesses, three food trucks, a DJ and has been gone too long? It’s Akron Honey Market Day, which returns June 27, 2021 after a long pandemic absence.

Akron Honey Company founder Brent Wesley — known by everyone as Wesley or Wesley the Keeper — is enthusiastic about getting people together outside the family apiary at 1045 Jefferson Ave. in Akron after weathering 2020’s event wasteland.

Wesley the Keeper demonstrates his process from a 2015 story in The Devil Strip

“What other market takes place in the city, in a neighborhood, on a street, in front of a bee yard?” Wesley asks rhetorically. “It’s like a party where there happens to be really cool, superhero small brands, and there’s food… Get ready to eat. You need to come hungry.”

DJ Forrest Getemgump, known around town for co-hosting Mighty Soul Night, returns to spin vinyl, but this time, there’s a new twist to the tunes. Wesley’s former Honeytones bandmate — Wesley the Keeper is also soul-singer Wesley Bright — alto saxophonist Nathan Paul-Davis will accompany Getemgump for a five-song set.

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Market Day vendors are excited to join the celebration and some are planning something special of their own.

“Market Day is one of our favorite events every time it comes around,” says Charly Murphy of Stray Dog Cafe. “This might be the first Akron appearance of our Big Blue Barbecue truck, which is new this year.”

Cristina González Alcalá, co-owner of Not Yo’ Daddy’s Mexican Hot Sauce, is bringing some limited edition flavors to the event that got them rolling.

The lineup of Not Yo’ Daddy’s Hot Sauces available at Market Day 2021 (courtesy of Not Yo’ Daddy’s)

“Being able to come back is quite emotional. The market is the one that gave us momentum when the hot sauce was on its way to kickstarting,” Alcalá says. “It really is, for us, a way to say, ‘Welcome to our family,’ when we share our hot sauce.”

After a long year inside, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. “People are finally going to be able to get back to the best vibe they can experience,” Wesley says.   

But this year, Akronites only have one shot to come out to Market Day. 

“One year, we had like three, and it was just too many,” says Wesley. “When we have one, it seems like tons and tons of people find it a little more urgent to get there.”

For a full list of vendors and event details, visit the event page on Facebook.

Derek Kreider is a general assignment reporter and distribution manager for The Devil Strip.

Editor’s Note: All of our stories are assigned based solely on their editorial value, and no one influences our decision whether to publish them outside of our editorial team. Richelle Wardell, who is a co-founder and co-owner of Not Yo’ Daddy’s Hot Sauce, is joining the Board of Directors of The Devil Strip Local News Co-op to represent the interests of our readers, members, partners and community. She was not consulted about this story, nor was she given access prior to publication. As a community-focused news organization, we’re often going to have relationships with people who are doing cool things that we want to cover, but we’ll also shoot straight with you when we do. – Chris Horne, founder