Honey section of a grocery store

Imitation: The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Wendell Honey has sold farm-gate honey from our farm along the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border since the late 1930’s.

We are farmers, country folk, who know and appreciate the simple goodness of unprocessed food.

Our honey, and most honey on the Canadian store shelves, used to look like this:

Generic jar of Canadian creamed honey
Generic jar of Canadian creamed honey


This container full of Wendell Honey held the exquisite taste of a prairie summer within a silky-smooth texture.

[Try our farm-gate honey yourself. Now you can buy our premium Canadian prairie raw honey online here. Use coupon code Flattered for 10% off your next order]

Some honey on Canadian store shelves looked like this:

Blended, processed, heated, filtered, liquid "honey"
Blended, processed, heated, filtered, liquid “honey”


This liquid honey goes through quite the journey to get from the beehive into the squeeze bear. The honey is sourced from multiple honey producers from who-knows-where. The honey is stored in bulk drums, often for months to years under conditions in which the honey loses its original freshness. Then it’s heated to remove it from the drums, blended to achieve a uniform colour, ultra-filtered to remove any particles, including naturally occurring (and healthy!) pollen and propolis, and then heated again to pasteurize it destroying many of the healthy enzymes in raw honey. This golden liquid honey on most store shelves has been altered so much from its original state that according to Food Safety News “Tests show most store honey isn’t honey”

2024 update: The prevalence of adulterated honey doesn’t seem to have changed much in recent years as per this article May 2023 article in the Guardian.


In 2011 we decided to make our farm honey available to customers outside of our immediate area.

We spent some time planning, thought a LOT, and hired some creative people.

Now our honey looks like this:

Wendell Estate Honey's new jar
Wendell Estate Honey’s new jar – top quality Italian glass and an elegant design

We named it Wendell Estate Honey and it held that same exquisite mild taste of a prairie summer within a silky-smooth texture.

We then discovered that:  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery is a proverb. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase. These common sayings are language tools that particularly give advice or share a universal truth, or impart wisdom.(….) The phrase imitation is the sincerest form of flattery was first used in print in Charles Caleb Colton’s work, Lacon: or Many Things in Few Words, addressed to those who think, published in 1820, though the idea had been around much longer. Oscar Wilde expounded upon the idea in this quote: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” – grammarist.com

“There is some truth to Oscar Wilde’s statement that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and, in the food and beverage market, successful brands frequently find their competitors trying to piggy-back off that success by copying elements of their packaging, labelling and branding.” – Otago Daily Times

Quite a bit of Canadian honey has started looking very similar to ours.  While we enthusiastically support the Canadian honey industry and know that there is room in the Canadian and world market for all of our deliciously healthy Canadian honey, we do feel that there is also room for creativity which includes honesty.  We tend to not feel so flattered by products that not only resemble Wendell Estate but also have built their brand stories using our words and, in some cases, our photos.

How can a consumer know and trust a product?  That is really a difficult question.  It should be easy to research but, if I search my FB for Wendell Estate Honey a paid ad for an Alberta honey packaging company shows up at the top of my search.  How does that happen?  If I look at some other Canadian honey packer web-sites, I recognize phrases and paragraphs and stories that have come directly from our web-site.  How does that happen?

I don’t know!  But, I guess we are flattered.  And here we are.  It is really us.  We really are beekeepers that harvest every drop of Wendell Estate Honey from our own bees and package it fresh on our farm. Check us out here, or here on youtube, or here on facebook, or here on instagram.

Wendell Honey beekeeping team checking colony health in spring
Wendell Honey beekeeping team checking colony health in spring



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  1. Maliteare Jamie

    Well written….and authentic! ; )

    Ever thought about a small clothing line?


    1. Jeremy Wendell

      Was it the beekeepers’ high fashion in the last picture that inspired you to suggest a clothing line? 🙂 🙂

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