I pulled in the parking lot, desperate to find a spot. ‘Lavender and Honey’, the building read as I eagerly opened the front door. Immediately my nose was hit by the wafting smell of various baked treats. As I stood in line, I eyed an empty table waiting for me to put my laptop upon. The mood was light; the people cheerful.
Lavender and Honey, a fairly recent addition to the ongrowing coffee shop scene in Winston-Salem, seems to be the perfect place for lonesome and homework bogged Reynolds students. But is it really worth the Instagram post?
“I definitely think Lavender and Honey lives up to the hype,” Reynolds alum Cami Bender said. “I think that all of their food is amazing, and they have such a pretty and welcoming space that it’s a great place to go with family or friends.”
A 2020 graduate from R.J. Reynolds, Bender happens to be a full-time employee of Lavender and Honey.
“I took a gap year so I was looking for a job to keep me busy and one day I came across Lavender and Honey on Instagram. I thought their Instagram seemed super cute so I applied,” Bender said. “Since I didn’t start college this year, I wasn’t really meeting anyone new, but working at Lavender and Honey gave me the chance to meet a bunch of new people and they are truly the coolest coworkers and I’m so grateful to have met them.”
But what is making Lavender and Honey a cafe phenomenon with high school students? According to Bender, it has to be because of the infamous cinnamon rolls, which I have to admit, are pretty worthwhile.
“I think every aspect of Lavender and Honey is making it so popular, but the cinnamon rolls are definitely the main attractor,” Bender said as she was even eating one as she responded to my interview questions.
In my personal experience, Lavender and Honey was just what Bender said it was. The atmosphere and aesthetic the place seemed to build, including the laughter and buzz of the espresso machine would make any study buddy want to stay an extra hour. The charming ambiance seemed to put students to studying and old friends to chatting, immersing them in a serene environment.
“I think people really gravitate there because it’s such a friendly and welcoming environment and this winter it has provided a comforting and delicious escape from the cold,” Bender said. “Looking around, it’s always full of smiling faces and laughter and I think that’s something people really needed.”
Lavender and Honey seems to be just what Reynolds students needed, as clicking through Instagram stories tagging the location, provides pretty convincing proof. As an alum, Bender often looks forward to bumping into old classmates.
“I love seeing people from Reynolds come into the bakery,” Bender said. “Because of Covid, there’s so many people that I haven’t seen since last March, so whenever I notice someone coming in that I know I always try to go out and say ‘hey’.”
All in all, Lavender and Honey has taken Reynolds students by storm and for good reason. So, meet up with some friends after a day back on campus, grab a latte, find a table, and enjoy the serenity of Winston’s newest coffee shop.