Snapshot: Leslie Huston
Occupation: I’m the owner of Bee-Commerce down on Sugar Street, just south of Ferris Acres [Creamery]. We’re finishing our third summer at that location. We just love being here in Newtown. Previously, the business had been in Weston and Norwalk. It’s been around quite a while. I’ve owned it for a little less than ten years.
We specialize in beekeeping supplies. We help beekeepers get started with their colonies of bees; we take reservations for packages of actual live honey bees starting in late winter, and the bees arrive in the spring; we sell the hives, tools, and replacement queens; and we give some classes and workshops. We also have some products: honey from local beekeepers, beeswax candles, and items made of felt.
Family: My parents are from Iowa, so that’s where I was born. We moved away from there when I was just a year old, but we’d go back for summer vacations, and my grandparents were still there. I had two brothers. They’ve all passed away.
Pets: I have a dog and six cats. I’m a cat lady that has a dog at the moment. They’re all rescues — they either came from shelters or were found on the side of the road.
How long have you lived in Newtown? I’ve lived in town for almost 30 years, but I live on the south side of town and all of my employment has been south, so I left by way of Huntington Park and Black Rock Turnpike. Just these last few years I’ve been able to be in town and conduct business here, go to the grocery stores and bank, and be part of Newtown activities. It’s been great.
What do you like to do in your free time? I have a number of hobbies. I’ve been learning how to weave and am sort of a newish weaver. I’m also an aspiring banjo player and have been taking lessons in Newtown from Roger Sprung for the past five or six years. He’s a pioneer of bluegrass. He’s the real deal.
Do you have a favorite book? I’ve been a Lord of the Rings fan since I was in high school.
What is your favorite travel destination? In late summer and fall, after bee season has cooled down a little bit, I go to a bunch of bluegrass festivals. I enjoy going out, hearing music, playing music, and camping with friends.
What is the best part about Newtown? I just love that Newtown has such wonderful open spaces and still has a lot of farmland. It’s a real treasure.
What is your favorite musical genre? Bluegrass, hands down. I like other folk music and acoustic music in general. Also, I was raised listening to a lot of classical music. I took piano lessons as a child and into my high school years, so I still have an affection for classical music.
Do you have a favorite TV show? Blue Bloods — old ones, new ones. Also, Forged in Fire. It’s a competition, but it is done with a lot of integrity and they appreciate each other’s work. It’s level-headed — not sensationalized — and they emphasize safety first.
What is your favorite food? Put cheese on anything and I’ll like it better.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? The one thing I come back to is “you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression.” Also, “this too shall pass.” When times are tough, remember: this too shall pass. And when you’re riding high, before you get too full of yourself, remember: this too shall pass.
What is something you cannot live without? At this point in my life it would be cats, music, and cheese.
What is your proudest accomplishment? Managing the Bee-Commerce business.
What organizations are you part of in Newtown? I’ve been part of Weaving Newtown, coming up on two years. Also, I’ve been involved with the Back Yard Beekeepers [Association], since I began keeping bees 20 years ago. They’re based in Weston, but they serve all of Fairfield County.