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The term “wellness” has become pretty broad these days. From buzzy supplements to CBD-infused everything, it seems like everybody is trying to sell the word in one way or another. So, when a place comes along that embodies an authentic approach to wellness, we get pretty excited. And then, of course, we share it with you.
Well, here it is, Denver: the real deal. It’s called Honey Elixir Bar.
Jocasta Hanson was working as a bartender and studying to become a therapist when her best friend, Boulder chef Matt Lackey, died in a climbing accident on Mt. Princeton. The tragic loss caused her to experience a journey of grieving and healing that serves as part of the inspiration for Honey. Her friend’s passing was “a powerful experience of how community heals together,” Jocasta shared with Fitt. That realization inspired Jocasta to put her grad school studies on hold. “I wanted to create a place that would hold the space for those looking for a healing connection—a place to gather, or a space to celebrate,” she says. Combining this desire with her passions for psychology, nutrition, health, art, and design, Honey was born.
Honey serves a creative and carefully crafted collection of drinks that nourish—a lineup of flavorful and functional sips, from kombucha and smoothies to chai and kefir. When it comes to ingredients at Honey, you’ll see it’s all about intention. Whether you’re craving a warm cup of calming cacao or a craft cocktail infused with antioxidant-rich ingredients like turmeric and goji, this café has something to satisfy.
Honey offers healthy snacks, too. In browsing the menu, expect small plates that pack a powerful punch, like sliced apple with house-made raw nut butter, a local honey sampler with gluten-free bread, and a seasonal soup and salad. The eatery tends to rotate in some vegan sweets from local bakeries too.
But it goes beyond a healthy menu for Jocasta. She doesn’t want Honey to be just another juice bar or kombucha spot—she aims to create a space that embraces all aspects of health, from how you nourish your body to how you nurture your brain. So, in the spirit of cultivating community and connection, and in addition to serving up those healthful sips, Honey offers workshops and hosts group meetings for those sharing common experiences, like a workshop focused on how the Jun (a fermented tea similar to kombucha but made with honey rather than sugar) she serves at the cafe can benefit gut health or a group meeting for those experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one.
Thought was put into every aspect of Honey, from the way tables are arranged to facilitate conversation to the acoustics that allow the sounds of voices and music to fill the space. Good vibes (literally) emanate from its core, with words of intention lining the ground beneath the flooring. Jocasta hopes to highlight the talents of the community, too, with rotating art exhibitions and a retail space stocked with goods from local makers.
Collectively, Honey Elixir Bar is a new concept to Denver. A healthy cafe redefining wellness, and a gathering space redefining community. And with a place that packs purpose and intention in every square inch, we had to ask—why the name Honey? Jocasta shared several reasons for choosing it, but her favorite one? “Honey is alchemized sunshine,” she says. “Bees turn the power of the sun into liquid gold.”
So, come in. Share a laugh. Let this place fill you up.
Things are weird. Times are changing. It seems like just when we’re starting to get a grip, there’s another surprise. When it comes to beauty, we've had to adapt on our own due to salon closures, keep an eye on preparations and protocol changes during those closures, try to know what we’re doing before booking an appointment once they reopened, and maybe even brave the journey back to the salon. Whether you live in a place where salons are open, you’ve experienced a second shutdown, or you straight up haven’t had a haircut since March, we can all probably agree that we’re expecting some differences in the salon and spa world thanks to COVID.
We wanted to gauge how everyone is thinking and feeling about all this, so we put out a poll on our Instagram, asking you all what you expect from beauty salons right now.
Here’s what you had to say...
53% of you have returned to the hair salon by now, while 47% of you have not. This makes sense, because every area of the country is different when it comes to cases, closures, and mandates, and every person is different when it comes to risk and safety.
While many hair salons have begun operating outdoors due to government regulations, 58% of you said you’re fine with getting your haircut indoors, while the other 42% are more comfortable keeping it outside.
58% of you said you’d rather go to your hair salon than have your stylist come to you. I get it, home is a safe space, probably shouldn’t let any outsiders in.
69% of you said you’re “totally!” going to tip more for services once you start receiving them again. During this time without our stylists and aestheticians, I think we all realized how much we need them and appreciate them, and many of us are willing to show them a little extra gratitude to make up for the time we spent apart.
But, most of you aren’t. 56% of you said you have not cut or colored your own or a friend’s hair, because it was too risky, while the other 44% just “had to!”
Only 29% of you have returned to nail salons, while the rest are sticking to at-home manicures. Maybe we’re all just getting really good at it? But probably, it’s because a lot of them are still closed down, or because it’s a little more difficult to get a pedicure outdoors (we need our massage chairs!).
Our last poll question asked about what differences you’ve all noticed when heading back to the salon, and you all had a lot to say...
It’s a beautiful thing to see how the salon and spa community has come together, taken precautions, and adjustments, all so they can continue to help us look and feel our best. If you haven’t spoken to your stylist lately (or even if you have), don’t forget to shoot them a thank you and let them know you appreciate them.