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The space at the new Seed to Table Market is large – at 74,000 square feet, it is nearly four times the size of Oakes Farm’s other store. The place is a virtual Disney World of food and beautiful produce. If you have not yet been there you really need to check out the new location. The store is impressive. We felt like we were visiting a popular tourist attraction, except the attraction was food. It’s a fun place to shop. The first thing you notice when you enter the store is a large section of perfectly stacked apples, bananas, tomatoes, raspberries, peppers and other fruits vegetables. It is a virtual cornucopia of natural bounty assembled for human pleasure. The concept of Seed to Table is unique in that it connects local growers with their markets so that produce grown in the Naples area can be enjoyed at its best and most nutritious. We picked a large bag of red grapes and a carton of fresh strawberries. The grapes were excellent, and the strawberries were tasty and sweet. A photo of the strawberries is at the bottom of this post. We were equally impressed with the meat section which features beautiful cuts of tenderloin, ribeye, strip steak and other meats. It features a full-scale butcher shop with Black Angus steaks, chicken, veal, pork and other items.  Nearby is the seafood counter. It featured a colorful display of fresh cuts of gulf seafood, other seafood, shrimp, sea scallops (which were delicious as we bought some and cooked them in wine for dinner). But the most mouthwatering section of the store is the bakery. It is filled with beautiful cakes, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, scones, biscotti’s, apple turnovers, chocolate dipped raspberry cookies, tarts, breads and other items. Boston cream cake with fudge icing is about six inches tall and reasonably priced. This is definitely not your average grocery store. How many stores have valet parking or a kids drop off center (located near the wine section) so you can shop and not worry about your children. Think of Wynn’s Market in Naples but on a much larger scale. The store features gourmet cheeses, homemade pasta, & sauce, fresh guacamole, homemade ice cream, bakery, deli, fresh produce, wine & prepackaged foods. The sore also has plans to put 25 vans on the road doing home delivery for breakfast, lunch, dinner and groceries. There are a wide variety of sit-down choices for a meal (check out the daily specials), including their famous Smash Burger (a half-pound burger between two halves of a brioche bun, dressed with onion jam, smack sauce, lettuce and tomato) with a couple of different bars include a sports bar with widescreen TV’s. Other bars include a coffee bar, a wine bar which has 32 varieties on tap, a juice bar where you can enjoy a variety of fruit smoothies and vegetable-based drinks made fresh to order or a milk shake, a hot bar for hot sandwiches and meals such as baked salmon with lemon, an ice cream bar and a deli bar. Other individual stations sell cheese, salsa, olives and guacamole, hot and cold sandwiches, pizza, tacos, pasta and fresh-roasted coffee, smoothies, craft beer and various types of cocktails. The gourmet cheese section has hundreds of specialty cheese from around the world. I advised the employee that I was lactose intolerant and he advised that if I picked a cheese that was aged for over three months, I would be able to eat it with no problem. I picked the raclette cheese, a traditional dish of melted Alpine cheese that I had previously sampled at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival and it turned out he was right. I was able to eat the cheese without taking any Lactaid pills. About the only complaint that we have seen about the Market is that certain items such as meats and seafoods are more expensive than what you would pay at a local Publix. But as the saying goes, you pay for what you get. In sum, the new Oakes Market has become the new go-to place for many North Naples residents (as evidenced by its packed parking lot even on weekdays), and this is probably why so many people love this grocery store. Oaks Farms – Seed to Table Market 4835 Immokalee Rd, Naples, FL 34110 (239) 310-7333    

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