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Shopping at Miami’s Farmers Markets: featuring Zak the Baker November 13th, 2012

Zak the Baker, Pinecrest Farmer’s Market

The temperature is finally dropping (to a staggering low of 68 degrees tonight!), and while sweaters are still optional, spending my weekends outdoors is not. I’ll take any excuse to be outside these days, and what better excuse than checking a weekly task off the list? At the local farmer’s markets, stocking up on groceries doesn’t feel like a chore—in fact, it’s a great opportunity to support local businesses.

The Coconut Grove Organic Farmer’s Market, located on 3300 Grand Avenue, is headlined by Glaser Organic Farms. Each Saturday, from 10 am to 7 pm, Glaser Organic Farms sells all variety of seasonal produce and prepared raw food. While it’s healthy, whole foods, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean you have to leave your sweet tooth at home—there are all manner of temptations, from raw fruit pies, to fresh non-dairy ice cream. While Glaser is the biggest presence there, other vendors rent tents and sell their goods, too.

Sunday mornings, year round, Pinecrest Gardens lines up local businesses for the Pinecrest Farmer’s Market. The Pinecrest market has slightly more variety, with vendors selling everything from local honey to fresh eggs. It’s open to 3:00 pm, but, like most farmer’s markets, the best produce sells fast; the earlier you go, the better the selection!

One of the most buzzed-about new businesses, Zak the Baker, usually sells out of his artisan-style, organic sourdough bread by 9:30 am at the Pinecrest Market—in fact, there’s often a line waiting for him to set up each week! Zak Stern, who traveled the globe working on farms and at bakeries in Italy, France and Israel, has made quite a splash on the local food scene with his brand.  He worked as an apprentice, practicing the labor-intensive methods off which he has founded his company. While he only works with sourdough, he offers a small variety. His olive sourdough is a fan favorite—I’m partial to the subtle sweetness of his fig and rye. On selling his product at the local market, Stern says, “the Farmer’s Markets allow for the people and farmers to come together and make the connection between consumer and producer; in my opinion, it’s the most genuine and enjoyable form of commerce.”

Both markets represent Miami’s changing food culture well; they’re local, health-concious and quality-oriented. Each season brings new products, and new opportunities for local retailers to wow the masses. Take Stern for example: while he is selling out of bread faster than he can bake it, he has another surprise that is sure to keep him in short order.  On top of developing a bakery in Wynwood, he’s raising French Alpine goats, which means we can all look forward to lining up for Zak the Cheese Maker in the coming months! Watch Zak the Baker in action, here: