Who’s Who at the Market
by Gertrude Mann
Welcome George Lorenzo to the Ocean Reef Farmers’ Market. George and his Lomelo’s Meat Market stand will be at the Market every Thursday with his distinctive Wagyu meat and seafood.
Located in the Miami Pinecrest area, Lomelo’s was started out of George’s quest for exceptional meat to cook at home during the pandemic. His discovery of Wagyu beef, a term that literally means Japanese cow, but refers to how the cow is raised in a luxe environment, led to his new venture.
George explains, “Wagyu breed is better than standard Choice or Prime cuts. The lineage comes from Japan, but my sources are from Japan, Australia and domestic Wagyu breeders. For example, a fillet, which is a very tender cut does not have a lot of natural flavor. A Wagyu fillet, however, is both tender and amazingly juicy and delicious because of all the fat marbling. It is more akin to the flavor profile of a ribeye. The cows are massaged daily, intertwining the fat with the meat and fed a special diet so the meat melts in your mouth.” Wagyu cows eat grass for the first 75% of their lives and then move on to a vegetarian grain diet. Some are even fed beer. What a life!
Lomelo’s currently sells over 800 lbs of meat a week between their Pinecrest stores and various farmers’ markets, bringing it in fresh weekly to our ORC Market in coolers for purchase. They also carry sushi grade tuna and salmon, shrimp and Chilean sea bass. Stop by and chat with George. He is eager to educate Members about his specialty products (which he says has a culinary cult following). After sampling Lomelo’s Wagyu skirt steak last week, our family can attest to its luscious flavor. Check out the detailed list of his extensive offerings when you stop by the Market next week.
Elizabeth Barnea, aka The Empress of Orchids, holds court every Monday and Thursday in her garden of orchids at the Farmers Market. Her passion for flowers and plants comes to her naturally, learned as a young child from her grandmother. Born in Romania, Elizabeth fled to the United States before the revolution, seeking political asylum. She remembers that dramatic escape as a James Bond like experience, a 28 year old fleeing her homeland to safety. Trained as a teacher, Elizabeth settled in NY and began a career in the hotel business. She moved to South Florida 9 years later where she met Michael Coronado and Robert Fuchs, falling in love with the beauty of RF Orchids. This revived her passion and soon became her new career.
“I studied species by species what they do in the nursery. How to protect them from diseases, how much time they spend to give the flowers quality and to make them grow and regrow. It is a science and such a fascinating world. I’m just mesmerized by it.”
“In this community,” Elizabeth says, “there are so many orchid lovers. I love to help Members with all their orchid needs.” Elizabeth’s personal favorite orchid is the Catasetum. It only lasts 3-5 weeks, but its beauty outweighs the short flowering life. The most popular orchid is the easy growing Phalaenopsis. This species needs only a little water every week and grows well both outside and in the home out of direct sunlight. Elizabeth has her own small garden with a wonderful assortment of rare species. She is very proud of this collection.
Just stop by the Market to chat with this gracious Empress of Orchids. Elizabeth loves to give tips to Members on how to care for their own plants. “This makes me very happy,” she says. “I love to do arrangements here. They help me express myself. I am so grateful to be here.”
Danny Ganim and his wife Sharon Sealy, the couple behind Islamorada Coffee Roasters, met in the 90’s when both were in culinary school in Miami. As trained chefs, they moved down to the Keys to join Danny’s family restaurant business. From there, the couple moved out to Arizona as chefs at The Rim Golf Club, followed by a 12 year stint in Las Vegas. When it was time to move back to Key Largo, they discovered a stumbling block. Where was the good coffee?
As Sharon stayed back in Las Vegas to wrap up their affairs and Danny set up their new life back in Florida, she shipped him his favorite coffee down south. This lasted for 3 months before the couple found their answer, bought a specialty roaster and their Islamorada Coffee Roasters business was born.
Based south of MM 81 in Galleria Plaza, Sharon and Danny are at the ORC Market every Monday and Thursday. They also sell to local restaurants but remain primarily focused on retail.
Danny does all the outreach, marketing and advertising, while Sharon specializes in the business end at the store and markets.
When asked why their coffee is different and special, Danny says, “Our coffee is organic – we specialize in this – no one else down here is doing that. We do not use a traditional drum roaster. Ours is known as a fluid bed roaster or air roaster. It is similar in workings to a popcorn machine; the beans do not tumble. Air blows the beans around, and they are toasted in a less bitter and more aromatic profile. This isn’t necessarily better. It’s a differently enhanced flavor.”
Danny’s current favorites are his Uganda and Costa Rica blends, but he drinks them all. The couple buys their beans directly from the farms or producers and through the wholesaler that makes their roaster. They bring an abundant choice of green beans on site to the Market where Danny and Sharon can help Members create their own special blends, roasting selections to order in 25 minutes. They will roast while you shop or even deliver your purchase to your home. They also have a selection of cold brew and pour over drinks to enjoy on site.
When asked about the value of pre-ground coffee, Danny cautions that freshly ground coffee only lasts for about a week and often goes stale before one gets to the end of the bag. “The bags of ground coffee on supermarket shelves have often been ground long before purchase and are already drying out. If there is not a date then that tells you when it was roasted, consumers should assume it’s been processed for long term storage,” he explains. “Something as tried and true as Maxwell House is killing it because of its mass appeal. This is not our market. We are a fresh, specialty product.”
We wonder how many cups of coffee Danny enjoys every day? Without hesitation, the young entrepreneur energetically replies, “Easily 7 or 8. I love this coffee!”
Farmer’s Market Schedule
Located in the 121 Marina Parking Lot • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday, February 15
Jerry is Here • Le Petit Pain • Pasta Amore • R.F. Orchids
The Cheese Lovers • Mediterranean Delight
Islamorada Coffee • Bjorns Honey • Amazing Rolls Sushi
John Jungle Handmade Baskets
Thursday, February 18
Jerry is Here • Le Petit Pain • Pasta Amore • R.F. Orchids
La Montagne Des Saveurs French Cheese • Bjorns Honey
Mediterranean Delight • Coco Fine Foods Jams & Jellies
American Mozzarella • Lomelo’s Meat & Seafood