UPDATE! THIS BUSINESS HAS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

For most of us, grocery shopping renders several emotions ranging from joy of finding great BOGO deals, to standing in long checkout lines behind shoppers whose carts are filled as if to feed nine elephants while passionately evangelizing to the cashier—when you simply came to pick up an onion.  Fortunately, farmers markets exist.  Stiles Farmer’s Market in Lauderhill has no long lines, fresh fruits and vegetables, produce, seafood, and a lot more.  Owner and health advocate Finley Matthews recently purchased the market a few months ago in hopes of offering superior quality, competitive pricing, and a wide variety of products.  “Our market has a wide variety for the international customer with a focus on Caribbean, African, and African-American needs,” Finley said as he waved to incoming customers.  Stiles Farmers Market is one of few, if not sole African-American owned grocers in South Florida.

Stiles Farmers Market Store Picture.jpgI decided to check out the place after a morning run.  You know how when you exercise you feel like if you eat healthy immediately afterwards, you should get abs the same day? Yeah, that is exactly how I was feeling, as I crackhead walked through the front door to a world of seeded and natural goodness.  In contrast with major chains such as Walmart and Winn-Dixie, a large portion of Stiles inventory is locally sourced through black and minority purveyors and farmers.  This would probably explain the giant cooler with live crabs crawling around toward the back of the market where the meats are. That was the coolest part of the entire store.  I then started to feel sorry for them, provided they wouldn’t crawl for much longer due to a guy holding a large bucket, hovering over the cooler looking like a Black version of the Flanagan Restaurant face.

Stiles Farmers Market Crabs.jpg

Their competitive pricing undercuts food giants such as Trader Joes, Publix, and Walmart on almost every item in the store.  Increasing the amount of locally sourced, organic, and wild caught foods are at the core of Stile’s philosophy, as plans to incorporate a full service deli, bakery, and juice bar are underway.  I must admit, as an African-American in South Florida, I was very proud of the owner in placing value on carrying products specific to African-American, African, and Caribbean culinary traditions.

Stiles Famers Market Dragon Fruit.jpg

My shopping list included: blueberries, strawberries, lemons, asparagus, apples, pears, grapefruit, plums, herbs, ginger, red peppers, onions, carrots, and broccoli that came up to just $15.45.  This was just the tip of the iceberg…..lettuce (I couldn’t resist) as you make your way down the colorful isles; you arrive at the meat and fish area.  I hit the jackpot. Wild caught salmon, snapper, and blue crabs were the feature of the day, and I made out like a bandit.  In and out of season produce, along with novelties such as bread fruit can be found throughout the store.  “Today I came for fruits and fish.  I love the fact everything is either local or organic, and even if some items aren’t organic, they can tell you exactly what farm it was grown.  That information is important to me and my family’s health,” said Joshua Grayson who traveled from Miami to support the Black owned grocer—“It’s important for me to support black owned businesses in our community,” Grayson stated.

Stiles Farmers Market Fish.jpg

Owner, Finley Matthews further expressed his desire to expand the market into a full scale grocer within the coming year.  The expansion will increase the already versatile inventory to include goods sourced from local fishmongers, butchers, bakers and other artisans, and eventually a small restaurant. The market is under light construction, but that did not deter customers as they strode through each inviting lane filled with floral and fruity scents.

Continuing towards the checkout registers, patrons will notice the meat and seafood section where you can find oxtails, turkey wings, smoked meats, chicken, conch, and much more.  “I want this to be a one stop shop for customers. Being that I’m located right across the street from Publix, we have to be competitive in our prices and customer service. We pride ourselves in offering high quality foods below market prices. We need the community to come support us so that we can continue to grow and be not just a Farmers Market, but be an educational experience for customers who want to eat and live healthier lives, especially in the Black Community” Matthews stated.  The market also features traditional grocery store items such as canned goods, nuts, detergents, soap, and other household needs.

 

Stiles Farmers Market Starex and the Owner.jpg

My experience at Stiles Farmers Market was not only economically advantageous, but educational as well. The employees were nice, but a bit standoffish at times.  Living in Miami-Dade County, my drive was considerable, however, I would gladly take the drive weekly to support this small business.  I would encourage anyone who is interested in supporting small and/or black owned businesses to definitely give Stile’s Farmers Market a visit.  The owner expressed that he is working on building an engaging marketing campaign, along with an interactive website for customers to check out what new items and seasonal fruits and vegetables will be available in the store.  The store is located at 5920 West Oakland Park Blvd, Lauderhill, Florida 33313 and is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, you can also reach them at (954) 733-5252.Stiles Famers Market Corn.jpg

Written by thehungryblackman

Starex Smith is an accomplished and experienced public administrator, fundraiser, foodie, and culinary business developer who has committed himself to maximizing the Black experience in the United States! He currently serves as Vice President of Strategy and Development for Black Tech Week with over twelve (12) years of experience in managing public/private partnerships, large scale events, and nonprofits. He has successfully raised over 20 million dollars in funding for various governmental entities, food companies, and individuals. Starex has assisted countless food industry businesses successfully obtain funding, taking mom and pop storefronts to scalable businesses. His success in working with restaurants sparked a passion for food and entrepreneurship which led to the launching of Sothern Bytes, a teaching platform food business dedicated to an ever evolving food industry with a focus on technology, culture and innovation. Having constantly run into stereotyping negatively affecting his dining and vacationing experiences, Starex decided to curate great destinations, restaurants, and discuss issues surrounding being a hungry Black man. Starex completed both his Bachelor’s and Master’s coursework in Public Administration at Florida International University where he served as president of the Black Student Union and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, Lambda Tau Chapter

56 comments

  1. I am a public relations specialist in Broward. I would love to do some marketing and PR work for you. My number is 954 254 8238. I am of Haitian dexent and ready to push the Caribbean communithetonthis. Very very important.

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  2. Good evening. I didn’t want to come off as rude but I was wondering If you guys were accepting EBT Foodstamps. You have a wonderful store and congratulations on your stores success. Hope to hear from you soon.

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    1. The Hungry Black Man will be reviewing Jacksonville in August! Looking forward to finding hidden gems. Especially Black owned businesses. Stile’s Market has plans to expand. Hopefully the support will garner the support needed to establish a footprint in Jacksonville. Keep updated with our next review.

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      1. O this is Great, I am from Jacksonville and OMG this is the best idea ever. I will surely be coming in the store tomorrow. Would love to meet the owner to speak about Jacksonville.

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  3. I see my cousin Joshua Grayson was quoted in the article. I must come through as I spend so much money in whole foods and Publix, but mostly I want to put my money into black businesses that help our community. Thanks for doing what you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is what this race war turned into labeling stores by the race or color who owns it who gives a fuck and I’m not racist my wife black she laughed at this shit wake up people your being programed

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    1. I stopped by there earlier in the year in search of more fresh produce, however, I was quite turned off by the putrid scent of, I am not really sure, a mix of something: rotted produce? I had not passed back since. But I am willing to give them another try as they’re under new ownership. I see those Burro bananas in the picture…awesome!

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      1. That is unfortunate. I have no dog in the race, so if you go great, if not that’s fine too. I just review based off my experiences. You should probably talk to management. The guy’s name is Mr.Finley Matthews. He really needs feedback from customers. Thanks for your comment, and subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already.

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  5. I would love to get some knowledge from the owner of this store. I’ve been wanting open up a black owned grocery store in my town. If you could relay my interest that would be awesome

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  6. This is close to me. Would love to support it more but a lot of times the produce is not fresh. I’ve thrown so much away because it goes bad so quickly.

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  7. I have been a patron of stiles farmers market for years, since I was a teenager in fact. Anyway the prices have always been very very low! I recently went to stiles and I see the prices were raised. Stiles has been the only market I shop to purchase my produce but it seems it’s just as costly as regular supermarkets now. Is this just my imagination? Am I being a pessimist? Regardless I will continue to shop at stiles because it is now black owned and we need to support each other!!! So you didn’t lose me as a customer but those who frequent stiles may be in for a bit of a surprise.

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  8. Hello, I shop here often and this is my first time seeing you guys… I would love to speak to you personally about a few things if you dont mind

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  9. This is good news, I am happy to learn that you are able to say exactly which farmer supplied the produce. However, the world is gravitating towards healthy choices and while it is good to know from whom your produce came, it is even more important to use a farmer who does organic farming (without using Roundup and other harmful pesticides on their crops), otherwise, it would not make sense switching to this store.

    The gentleman on the left in the photo is holding Chiquita bananas, which are not locally grown and which are not organically grown.

    While I am black, I would strongly suggest promoting healthier eating choices as opposed to the race and I can guarantee you that your clientele will expand because I would personally patronize health over race.

    The concept of healthy is to be commended and congratulations. Looking forward to your expansion towards organic choices

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  11. This is amazing!!! great job gentelmen!! I would love to open up a little cafe/groccery in my area we dont have anything like this here! even a farmers market ant suggestions. I bought 20 acres of land and started to grow my own natural beyond organic food!

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  12. I went with a few friends to introduce them to this grocery store, what a disappointment it was. The store is not what was posted online, none of the food is fresh, the entrance and exit doors were both kept opened. You should see the meat they were selling. I purchased some raspberry, Blue Berry papaya for my morning smoothies, this morning I found most of them on the bottom were glued to the foam with mildew. I was so eager to support this business because I believe in supporting and spending my money at the Black owned businesses, but how can we really support such a business? Extremely disappointed. I firmly believe that this place should be inspected the city and be closed down for selling unsafe products. I have managed many restaurants and know about fresh products and as someone who enjoys providing exquisite service with a smile also believe that part of the service to sell safe and clean products. This store I have rated on a scale of 1 to 10, as 2 which is dangerous since all the products were warm and the AC unit was working really hard which also was a sign that the unit was not working.

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    1. I’m sorry you had that experience. The place was recently acquired by the new owner within a couple months. He has assured there will be enhancements to the building as well as from his suppliers. You should reach out to him directly with your concerns. His name is Finley Matthews and you can reach him at the store. Thank you for your comments. Fortunately for me, my visit was quite the opposite.

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    2. This is foolishness. Your fruits did not rot in a day, you are suppose to look to see if the fruit is bad, fruit not covered in chemicals will spoil quickly, normal people ask when the fruits come in.

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  13. I live in the Fort Myers area. I’m going on 2 years vegan, more and more I’m buying a lot of fruits and veggies. Fort Myers is approx.: 2 hours away. Do you have any affiliates in my area or could we discuss the possibly of create an easement to access your products. I’m looking to reinvest in my community – and live healthy.
    Thank you,

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Please follow our blog at Thehungryblackman.com and simply provide your email address to receive exciting information and reviews on destinations in your area. As far as Stile’s market, I will check with the owner on your behalf and provide you with his information.

      Liked by 1 person

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