But, as of recently, there’s also fresh produce, seafood, jellies, flowers and even pastries and breads from vendors set up outside and around the south Cape community.
It’s called the Cape Coral Farmers Market. It’s been at Cape Harbour since May 17, and is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“I wanted to see what kind of vegetables they had,” said June Ernst, a Long Island native who moved to Cape Coral three years ago to enjoy retired life.
Tomatoes, peppers and corn are Ernst’s veggies of choice.
“I like the idea of having a local produce; it’s fresher,” she said.
Ernst said she didn’t mind the heat outside. That’s why she moved to Florida.
“It’s very nice, it’s beautiful,” she said about the atmosphere.
For Ernst, the distance is a short one; she lives near the Harbour.
“I can walk here, that’s what’s nice,” she said.
Though she admitted she took the car this time to visit a friend who was a shop owner in Cape Harbour.
Rod Fritschie, owner of Au Natural, assured the freshness and low prices — usually lower than your local supermarket, he said — of the produce.
“We do what’s in season plus the oddball stuff,” Fritschie said.
Fritschie’s personal tastes fall into the latter category; things like Litchi nuts, yellow tomatoes and watermelons, jicama root, and four different kinds of bananas (not just the yellow ones when it comes to Au Natural, Fritschie says).
Fritschie owns 56 acres of grove land and seven of organic land, and friends own 4,500 acres of organic land and 3,200 of regular grove land, used to produce the produce he offers at the Cape Coral Farmers Market, he said.
Previously, Fritschie lived in Chicago and moved to Florida after Hurricane Charlie. He’s been in wholesale for about three years.
Fritschie’s attraction to vegetables was clear.
“I eat a lot of stuff raw,” he said. “I had a greenhouse up north just to have a fresh, red tomato in the dead of winter.”
Aside from fresh vegetables there’s also fresh bakery items. Oltimes Bakery owner Fritz Linnenbach offers German pastries and breads of various kinds at the market.
Normally selling the various European delicacies at his store at 1507 S.E. 47th St., Fritz sets up every Saturday for the Farmers Market with girlfriend Heidi Linnenbach.
“It’s good for people who like to stay on the healthy side,” said Fritz.
One wouldn’t initially think pastries as being healthy, but Fritz assured all of his products are free of sugar, shortening and preservatives, and they’re all made by hand.
Pastries and bread are no joke to Fritz. He’s been in the trade since he was 14 years old in Germany — about 30 years. He’s earned two degrees for pastry and bread making and is the only one of his family to learn the trade. He managed a bakery in Germany before owning his own store with about 300 employees under him.
Fritz’s legacy, a daughter living in Germany, isn’t interested to follow in father’s footsteps. She has other interests, Fritz said.
Yet, his drive remains intact.
“It’s nice, we have a good reputation, but you need to stay here to build up clientele,” said Fritz.
Saturday was the third time Oltimes Bakery set up shop at Cape Harbour.
The store offers deli sausages and cold cuts as well as bakery items, but those items weren’t for sale at the Farmers Market.
“Because of the heat,” Fritz said.