Robert is Here

by Don Meyer, Ph.D. | May 02, 2009

"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
Buckminster Fuller

Several years ago we were driving through Homestead, Florida on our way to the Everglades National Park and we came upon a tropical fruit stand called "Robert is Here." From the moment we saw that big sign written out on the roof, we knew there was a story behind that name. And we were not disappointed. 

The "Robert is Here" Fruit Stand began in the fall of 1959. Robert Moehling was only six (6) years old. His parents placed him on the very spot of today's fruit stand with some of his father's cucumbers and told him to "sell 'em."

He sat on that corner all day on that Saturday and not one customer even stopped. That evening his father decided "There can't be that many people who don't like cucumbers; they must not see this little boy standing here on the corner." 

I learned these details in a brochure that is readily given to visitors today and as I read it I was fascinated by this story. 

I am sure you can imagine what happened next. As the brochure states, "The next day Robert's father placed a sign on each side of the table proclaiming 'Robert is here.' By the end of the day Robert had sold all of the cucumbers and walked home. The following weekend, a neighboring farmer added tomatoes to Robert's display and a fruit stand was born." 

The story goes on telling of Robert and his little sister, Rose, helping him on that corner every day of the Christmas break. And with the start of school in January of 1960 his mother had the bus pick him up and drop him off from that fruit stand. And, the "Robert is Here Fruit Stand" was born. 

Because he specializes in tropical fruits, he has been featured on NBC's Today Show, on World News Tonight and in newspapers and magazines across the country. 

Other than the name, even today the Robert is Here Fruit Stand looks like just about any other typical fruit stand. It is located on a the simple crossroads of one-lane country road just outside Homestead, Florida where customers pull in and park single file off the road. 

Inside tropical fruit and farm vegetables are everywhere. Huge onions, fresh coconuts, bunches of bananas, pineapples, oranges, grapefruit and bright red tomatoes are everywhere. People stand in line for fresh fruit milkshakes and homemade key lime pies. You can also find pure raw honey and honeycomb, fruit butters, jams, dips, salsas, mustards and no less than 23 different kinds of dressings from Key Lime Honey Mustard to Florida Orange Poppy Seed. 

On our most recent visit to this world famous fruit stand Evie and I met Robert. He was behind the counter and as we were about to pay for some goodies he asked us, "Do you like mangos?" Well, we have eaten them here in the north but they are usually rather hard and a bit flavorless. "Would you like me to cut one up for you?" he asked. "Sure, why not." Oh my, what a delicious treat! And as we ate it, he told us about mangos and how to buy them and eat them. It was obvious he was passionate about his fruit. 

Evie and I love that place. We love the milkshakes. We love the sights and sounds and smells of a world that is far removed from our world. And now we love it even more since we met Robert himself. We also learned "We Ship Everywhere." You can find out more about them by visiting the website

Who would have ever thought a creative sign for a six year old little boy and an entrepreneurial spirit would grow into a place we would go out of our way to visit whenever we were in south Florida. 

Think about it.

Dr. Don Meyer is President of 
Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, PA 
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