Robert Is Here in Florida City is a food-lovers happy hunting ground. It’s full of tasty surprises, exotic fruits, fresh vegetables and even a small zoo.
By Brenda Benoit
I have been hearing about this place for quite a while as a foodie destination. On a Sunday morning, my brother asked me if I wanted to go. Of course I did.
Florida City is not really close to us, a little far from where we live so I hardly ever venture there. I was glad that I went as Robert Is Here is truly a food-lovers happy hunting ground: full of tasty surprises, exotic fruits, fresh vegetables and a small collection of animals that make this farm and market quirky, interesting and unusual.
The most essential component about this establishment is Robert himself. He started selling fruits in a corner stand when he was six years old with the help of his parents. At nine years old, he hired a lady to help him out and when he was just fourteen he bought his first ten acres of property and planted an avocado grove. Robert is someone who has farming in his bloodstream.
This is now a family business whose core mission is to share and educate people about the special produce and products that can be found locally.
Tropical fruits are a specialty here. You can find among other fruits: jujubees, caimitos, sapodillas, canistel, black sapotes, mamey sapotes, passion fruits, tamarinds, Asian guavas, Monstera Deliciosa, which looks like a giant green ear of corn but tastes like banana and pineapple, carambolas, or “Star Fruits”, mameys, lychees, papayas; and in the summer Robert’s pride and joy – MANGOES!
I could not help but to notice Robert himself: he is full of hospitality, passion and a real desire to help his customers get acquainted with the diverse array of unique, out-of-the-ordinary and novel fruits that can be found here. Ask him or any of his staff to explain how to eat or prepare anything and the answer will be forthcoming with a smile.
I was dying to try the fresh fruit milkshakes but the line was super-long and we were running short on time. These shakes are famous so I have to go back to taste one for sure. One thing I noticed was the happy faces of the people sipping or spooning the thick shake. I had milkshake-envy…have to wait until next time.
Robert Is Here also sells marinades, grilling sauces, relishes, salad dressings, pepper sauces, flowers, homemade Key Lime pies and other goodies, including fresh emu eggs… Slightly smaller than an ostrich egg, an emu egg provides the equivalent of 10 chicken eggs so you can make a giant omelet when you get home. The egg can be refrigerated for up to two months if you want to leave it for later.
In the back of the store there is a sign that says: “Step out Back” and when you do step out, there is a mini zoo with goats, donkeys, chickens and even the emus that lay the eggs for the store. I have never seen an emu, one of my favorite birds, outside of Australia. My little one was more thrilled with the baby goats though.
Oh, and I cannot forget to mention, during the winter, you can also enjoy live music on the weekends, performed by local musicians. Robert Is Here has it all: food, entertainment and the sincere affection of Robert radiating towards everyone who visits. A destination for both locals and tourists alike.
Robert Is Here, Inc.
19200 SW 344th Street, Homestead, Fl 33014
Brenda Benoit was born in the city of St. George’s in Grenada and grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. She has been living in Miami for over 20 years, loves to cook, eat and to try new restaurants & cuisines - always with her camera as a companion. She's a dedicated cookbook collector and is in the process of writing one of her own.