By Cassandra Key
When the Honey Tree first started in 1974, Chef Evelyn Lott’s grandfather, Richard Harvey, had a vision of a healthy restaurant alongside the best vitamins on the market. After Evelyn’s culinary and business training at the Art Institute of Dallas’ International Culinary Program, she made her way back to the Honey Tree with a knowledge of the most innovative techniques that she was excited to bring to the family business kitchen.
Over forty years later, Evelyn, now manager and head chef, expanded on her grandfather’s dream into what the Honey Tree is today: a vitamin shop, eatery, and small-batch bakery. This unique health food store has become one of the best kept secrets in Tyler with a customer base that is loyal and staff who take so much pride in their work. “I am able to create menus, cakes, and dishes that appeal to a wide range of people,” Evelyn says. “Focusing on the customer’s needs and wants is our main objective.”
This love for satisfying a customer’s (healthy) sweet and savory tooth extends to couples planning their wedding. The Honey Tree can meet with a bride and groom to discuss their ideal menu and/or wedding cake, as well as menus and baked goods for smaller events like bridal showers.
As a small-batch bakery, the Honey Tree staff can hand-select all of their ingredients, which are natural and organically grown. Couples can choose from a traditional wedding cake, semi-naked cake, or a specialty cake that is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, or sugar free. As for other baked goods, Evelyn says she can make custom treats, including the popular gluten free blueberry oat crumb bars, flourless chocolate cake, and cupcakes.
Whenever a couple meets with Evelyn, they can discuss cake flavors, butter creams, and designs. Popular cake flavors include honey almond, vanilla bean, dutch chocolate, and red velvet. “There are so many possibilities on how to put together a modern wedding,” Evelyn says. “Many brides want to have a relaxed atmosphere that really reflects the bride and groom’s personality. Blogs, magazines, and websites are great tools to find out what someone wants for their wedding day. I work with the bride, groom, and florists to provide the perfect wedding cake to fit their wedding design.”
Evelyn also designs cake and dessert tables for brides and grooms who want a unique set up that might even match their cake and dessert designs.
For couples interested in meeting with Evelyn and the team at the Honey Tree, she recommends a three month notice for weddings of 150 people or more. For smaller weddings and events, six to eight weeks is best.
For this healthy eatery and vitamin store, a successful wedding is what it is all about. “Here at the Honey Tree, we want to play a major role in making the bride and groom’s dream come true,” Evelyn says. “If that is baking and delivering wedding cakes, serving, or catering, we will be there every step of the way.”