SARASOTA – One attraction of Sarasota is the parallel Amish and Mennonite culture. It is distinct in dress and social ties, yet fully connected to and enriching the overall economic and cultural life of Sarasota. One benefit of the Amish culture is produce and food, often found at Detwiler’s Farm Market, a three-location grocery store company with two locations in Sarasota and one in Venice.
Any store is great, but the original location is the quirky one, just off Cattlemen Road and Palmer. In fact, its a fairly short drive off I-75, and makes for a good road stop if you are heading anywhere else in Southwest Florida. It’s usually pretty busy and a fun scene. Below, a Vine showing the inside:
The Detwiler family is usually around; patriarch Henry Detwiler too. While it seems that the store has been around for generations, it only opened in 2009, when Detwiler decided to move to open a full grocery instead of a farm stand.
The vegetables, fruits are all local, if possible, and fish and meats are sourced ethically and to the highest standards. Prices are good for produce and most items; they are more for items like local Dakin milk, which is about $1.25 more a gallon than supermarket store brand. But that’s ok; it really does taste better and when you are on vacation, it adds to the experience.
One other good thing; there is Big Olaf ice cream, which means you can satisfy the kids so they won’t pester so much while you shop at their Palmer Boulevard or Venice
There is also a lesson in Detwilers; there is still room in the United States for local retail. In Sarasota, there is tremendous competition, from Publix to local standouts like Morton’s. Yet they do well. The answer? You just have to work hard, have a big family and focus in on a niche and do it well.
Below, Henry describes how they buy tomatoes. Their website HERE.