By Jordan Puyear | firstname.lastname@example.org
In downtown St. Augustine, it’s not a common to see an eyeless life-size stuffed horse. Though, that’s exactly what greets visitors as the enter Rype and Readi, a market that specializes in natural and organic food with a strong farm-to-table ethic.
Here, guests will be indulged with the sweet smell of strawberries and oranges freshly picked from local farms that will lure skeptics into the fantastic world of Rype and Readi.
After perusing all that Rype and Readi had to offer, Sebastien Gros, one of the two owners, sat down to discuss details concerning the market.
“This is kind of a legacy project my other partner [Rip Smith] and I are doing with our daughters,” Gros said. “This kind of our approach towards sharing our knowledge that we’ve acquired over the years about health and wellness, pretty much a lifestyle kind of a thing.”
Inside the market, there’s an array of produce, including a table solely dedicated to tomatoes, two bins filled with red and white onions, and an entire cooler with fresh greens, carrots and peppers, among other foods.
Produce isn’t the only thing this market features–visitors will find items such as local honeycomb, fresh baked bread loafs, pasta, and an array of jarred items including salsas and pickled goods.
With almost 95 percent of the produce coming from within 15 miles of the market’s location depending on the time of year, Rype and Readi is a local, farm-to-fork marketplace. They work with a number of different partners such as Blue Sky Farms, Lady Moon Farms, Spuds Farm, and Blueberry Hill Farm, just to name a few.
The downtown St. Augustine Rype and Readi is Gros’ third location, his two others are in Elkton.
“The reason we wanted to be here in the first place is that there are three demographics that we were not able to serve out at the farm in Elton,” he said. “The six million tourists, the great community that lives down here, and the Flagler students who tend to have a healthier lifestyle.”
When it comes to Flagler students, Gros does not shy away from a challenge. In fact, he has a close relationship with Keith Atkins, the executive chef of Aramark at Flagler College. Both have plans to establish an on-campus sustainable garden for the college.
“This garden could provide some organic products for the dining hall and provide indigo so the art students could learn something about growing the things that go into making the ink. And now that we’re downtown I think there’s a chance we could go really get that off,” Gros said. “We need the students to volunteer and do the manpower. We have the expertise to manage that garden and Aramark was hopefully going to fund the dollars to get the plants and establish the garden.”
Gros said he has even bigger ideas for the St. Augustine Rype and Readi.
“We’re open to hearing what guys want, this is just the beginning,” Gros said. “We want to move into the bigger market area by the end of the year and then turn the original market into a commercial kitchen where we’ll be cooking farm-to-fork to-go options. The possibilities.”
To visit Rype and Readi’s YouTube channel, click here.