After Miami-Dade native Sean McGirt moved to Texas in 2004, he found himself often making requests to his grandma, who still lived in South Florida at the time, to make a 30-minute drive to Redland to buy his favorite sweet treat and ship him Knaus Berry Farm’s cinnamon rolls.
Now that’s no longer necessary.
Since Knaus Berry Farm started to experiment with shipping cinnamon rolls, McGirt places an order with just one click from his computer mouse.
“We have been ordering them ever since Knaus Berry Farm began shipping,” said McGirt, who made it a tradition to have cinnamon buns every Christmas since he first moved from Florida.
Thomas Blocher, co-owner and the bakery manager of Knaus Berry Farm, was in charge of the experiment, which started three years ago and has become a permanent operation at the farm, a family-operated business since 1956.
“Thirty percent of all shipping orders are for gifts,” said Blocher, married to one of the daughters of the founders of KBF, which offers every year fresh strawberries, veggies, ice cream, fruit-shakes and herb bread, among other products – but is especially known for sticky cinnamon buns.
The farm only ships cinnamon rolls from January through March, three months out of its regular season, when it welcomes many locals from November through April.
On a busy Saturday, it might take 40 minutes to an hour and a half in line to place an order for the bakery products at Knaus Berry Farm. During weekdays, the lines are almost non-existent, except on holidays.
Lorraine Baute, 28, a stay-at-home mom from Hialeah, recalled the first time she visited the farm as she stood in line for some KBF goodies with her 6-year-old son, Eddie Thomas.
“We waited an hour and a half in line,” said Baute. “We got a dozen cinnabuns, angel food cake and chocolate shakes. Delicious. Totally worth it.”
McGirt said it’s precisely that taste from childhood that keeps him regularly placing an order of the cinnamon rolls online to be shipped out-of-state.
He attended Redland Middle School, located across the street from the farm.
The kids were not supposed to cross the road by themselves, but he and his friends would sneak to the farm after school.
“We hid behind things to get over there and get some cinnamon rolls,” said McGirt, 24. “Finally, we would devour them and run back quickly.”