Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

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Ask Jan: Where Are Grove Orange Stores?

December 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

Readers ask, Jan answers – but feel free to comment if you can help further.

Jennifer, from Palm Beach County, writes:

Hi, Jan! Boy do I miss your writing and the old Food Section!

I have a question for you. I am born and raised in Palm Beach County, and remember riding my bike right down the street to Knollwood Groves to get oranges every year. I know they closed a while back, so I’ve been visiting Blood’s on Lawrence Road in Lantana. I went there yesterday and was dismayed to find that they are gone now too! So tell me please, is there anywhere you know of in PBC to get grove-fresh oranges?

I know there’s an old-fashioned orange grove store named Pagoda near PSL, but that’s such a long drive!

Thanks for any help.

Jan answers:

The sad reality is that all the groves around were worth a great deal more to developers who were making fortunes in real estate, than to the citrus farmers struggling in a shrinking fruit market.

Only fruit shippers are left in our area – none with a grove store that I know of: Cushman’s on Forest Hill Boulevard, has bins of fresh citrus for sale that I think are from Florida groves — they don’t own any groves, but buy from others. They were sold to Harry & David, the big retail fruit shippers, in August, but retain the name and right now, still ship their pride and joy — honeybells.

A number of other shippers are around, too, who might be able to help you find fresh fruits: Tropical Fruit Shop in Palm Beach (Happy 96th anniversary to this oldest fruit shipper in the whole state!); Palm Beach Groves in Lantana, another shop that’s been around for decades, Florida Gold Fruit Co. in Stuart; and Hale — another biggie — in Vero Beach.

If any of our readers out there know where to send Jennifer for fresh grove oranges, please leave a comment!

Thanks, Jennifer, for the kind words about the food section, Jennifer. Here on the web, I’ve got many of the same features as I had in the paper, plus more, so check back often.

Tags: Ask Jan · Florida!

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