Robert is Here for Another Season
Under the Robert Is Here roof, outlined against the fast-fading pink-and-blue fall sunset, the only fruits in sight are a pile of green and orange papayas. It’s a few days until the iconic Homestead fruit stand is opening, and Robert Moehling and his family and staff are unloading boxes, coordinating deliveries, sprucing up and getting ready for another season.
“We get everything cleaned up and ready to go,” explains Brandon Moehling, one of Robert’s sons. This year, he says, there’s a new order system at the shake and smoothie counter, aimed at improving efficiency and alleviating the long lines. The family discovered some vintage fruit stand signs and turned them into campy t-shirts. Also new is a nursery, where visitors can buy trees and grow their own tropical fruits sold at the stand during the year, including various mango cultivars, avocado, sugar apple, caimito, lychee, mamey sapote, jaboticaba, jackfruit, sapodilla, dragonfruit and guava. There are more picnic tables. “Everything we do is to make things more enjoyable,” says Brandon.
And then there’s the book.
Released in the fall, Robert Is Here, Looking East for a Lifetime by Cesar Becerra tells the story of the fruit stand, from its beginnings in 1959 – when 6-year-old Robert was plopped down on the corner with a load of cucumbers to sell and a sign proclaiming “Robert Is Here” – to the present, where it’s a thriving business showcasing South Florida produce and the spunky family spirit. To promote the book, Robert will appear at book signings and the Miami Book Fair. And even away from his familiar seat behind the counter, the always-smiling patriarch is always ready to share tales of exotic fruits for audiences of all stripes.
- Robert Is Here opens for business Thur., Nov. 5. Regular hours: 8am-7pm. 19200 SW 344 St. Homestead 33034
- Join @EdibleSoFla on Twitter for a chat with Robert: Nov. 12 1pm #MBFRobert
- All-day book signing at Robert Is Here: Sat., Nov. 14
- Robert Moehling with Cesar Becerra at the Miami Book Fair: Sat., Nov. 22, 3:30pm