Cypress Creek Produce market opens in Apollo Beach
By LOIS KINDLE
South Shore area residents now have a place to get fresh fruits and vegetables and other market goods without having to pay the ever-increasing prices of local grocery stores.
While Cypress Creek Produce only opened the end of May, its customer base is steadily growing – first, due to folks finding out it’s there, and, second, because it’s a brick-and-mortar pick-up location for owner Cassie Adams’ Cypress Creek Co-op, which has seven pick-up sites in South Shore and around 29,000 members on Facebook.
“The neighborhood has been very welcoming,” Adams said. “I’m glad to have filled a spot opened up by the closing of Kim’s Produce.”
The store carries a wide variety of fruits and vegetables straight from area farmers markets and farms. In addition to staples like salad veggies, fresh corn, peaches, string beans and potatoes, Adams carries lots of specialty items, including rambutan, rhubarb, donut peaches, quenepas and lychees.
Some of the produce is organic, and Adams said she’s adding to the list.
“Everything is much fresher than the grocery store, and the prices are incredible,” said Andalucia resident Jennifer Miller, as she shopped the store. “We’re trying to eat more fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables.”
Customers will also find grass-fed, grass-finished meats (with no antibiotics or hormones); local Amish cheese, sodas, jams and jellies; Dakin Dairy products; fresh, local eggs; boiled peanuts; Cannon’s Country Gourmet salad dressings and Mrs. Miller’s homemade noodles. They’ll also find local honey from Riverview; Pickle Patch Pickles; fresh, corn tortillas; Carolina Nut Company products; fresh-frozen Key West shrimp, scallops, grouper, salmon, snapper and cod; Village Bakery Goods from Jacksonville; dried fruit; syrups; and more.
Adams, the single mother of two boys, believes it’s important to give back.
In 2019, she and her volunteers provided food, games and entertainment and cooked dinner for 350 homeless veterans and area seniors at the International Independent Showmen’s Association in Riverview.
Each week, Adams donates food to Meet Me in the Street Ministry in Ruskin. She has sponsored about 50 families at Christmas and supplied pumpkins and haystacks for Waterset Charter School’s Fall Festival.
Her generosity extends into the store.
Every Tuesday morning, Cypress Creek Produce posts a list of 10-12 items customers and co-op members can purchase for $20. There’s a special box with no fruit for people on KETO program.
And she has a Waste Not Cooler for any bruised, blemished or otherwise unattractive produce, which can be purchased by customers at whatever price they choose.
There’s even a bin for farm scraps, which she donates locally.
Cypress Creek Produce is at 101 Flamingo Drive, Apollo Beach. Business hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except for Monday, when it’s closed.
For more information, visit www.cypresscreekcoop.com or call 813-922-4870.