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Two Queens find their hive

By VERONICA DAUB
Posted 9/25/19

NARROWSBURG, NY — Charles Wilkin and Martin Higgins, the artisan duo that is 2 Queens, has brought the buzz down the hill and into the plaza. From its humble beginnings in 2008 at …

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Two Queens find their hive

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NARROWSBURG, NY — Charles Wilkin and Martin Higgins, the artisan duo that is 2 Queens, has brought the buzz down the hill and into the plaza.

From its humble beginnings in 2008 at farmers’ markets, on September 7, 2 Queens officially opened up shop. Tucked between the liquor store and the laundromat, the 2 Queens café is more suited to their needs as creators, sacrificing lounging space for customers. Three-quarters of the store functions as their workspace for the coffee-roasting, honey-harvesting, labeling and packaging necessary for their hand-crafted and designed products.

Wilkin explained how 2 Queens Coffee, Tea & Bees all began with the honey.

“Since, you know, honey and tea are like best friends forever, we added tea. When I met Martin in the ‘90s, he had a chain of coffee shops. The coffee came three or four years ago… [it] just seamlessly fell right in place.”
Just like most endeavors, Wilkin and Higgins landed at their storefront because one thing kept leading to another.

After a Kickstarter fundraiser this past spring, the duo became able to buy a full-size coffee roaster. The essential piece of equipment signaled the business had outgrown its former space at the Narrowsburg Union.

“If you catch it at the right moment, you may watch us roasting coffee. Right now I’m harvesting honey in the back of the space, so you can see that too.” Since the shop is more of a workshop, Wilkin and Higgins plan to provide just that: workshops and classes on all things—it’s not set in stone, but let’s just guess—coffee, tea and bees.

The first class, coming soon, will be on how to make delicious coffee at home.

Wilkin and Higgins also play a role in the HoneyBee Festival along with Joan Santos. Wilkin’s focus is to the educational aspects of the festival, aiming to shed light on the kinds of problems bees face, “just to raise awareness about… how important they are. If we can just educate one person, teach people the simple things they can do to help then, you know, it’s successful.”

He kept the details to himself, but muralist Matthew Willey of “The Good of the Hive” will be returning with a surprise that, according to Wilkin, “people will want to come and see.”

The fifth annual Honey Bee Festival is a free event on Saturday, September 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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