honey, be kind!

Two years ago, Rabia Khan and her husband, Shahab, went to a local farm and got a single 60-pound bucket of honey to sell to their friends to raise money for Syrian orphans.

Their friends loved the unique taste of the raw honey that was delightfully fresh and bursting with flavor, unlike standard honey sold in grocery stores. The Khans continued buying various types of honey from local farms and sold more than 1,000 pounds over the next few months, donating all the profits to charity and starting a  company called Honey, Be Kind!, a for-profit organization that donates all of its profits to charity.  Their current beneficiary is Helping Hand for Relief and Development, a global humanitarian organization.

Rabia Khan, above, cuts slabs of honeybomb. She and her husband, Shahab, sell blended local honey and handmade soaps, and donate the profits to charity.
Rabia Khan, above, cuts slabs of honeycomb. She and her husband, Shahab, sell  local honey and handmade soaps, and donate the profits to charity.

Combining their love of honey with their desire to help others seemed logical. The inspiration to sell honey originated from Shahab’s encounters with farmers throughout the Northeast on his travels for work as an auditor with BSI, a business consulting firm. Turning it into a charity was motivated by the desire to “leave something behind to the community in the world,” Rabia says.

The raw honeys, such as Apple Blossom and Red Bamboo, are for sale on the Honey, Be Kind! website, www.honeybekind.com, which lists reviews of the different varieties and more information about where the honey is sourced. Larger pint-size jars of honey are available for pick-up only.

The Khans, who live with their three children Raafay, Yousuf and Mariam on Oxford Boulevard, moved to Mt. Lebanon in 2006 to take advantage of the excellent school district, Rabia says.

They hope to turn their business into a full-time job while donating to more charities focused on helping needy children. They’d even like to create a local food pantry. “We want to create goodwill in the community by giving to future citizens of the world,” says Rabia.

Photography by Julie O’Hara