Homestead - South Dade

Redland Ranch produce store offers local taste and city escape

Rolando Zedan and his wife Carmen own the Redland Ranch, a restaurant in the Homestead area that offers fresh shakes, smoothies, honey and locally grown fruits.
Rolando Zedan and his wife Carmen own the Redland Ranch, a restaurant in the Homestead area that offers fresh shakes, smoothies, honey and locally grown fruits. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

When Stephanie Palmer comes home to Miami every couple months, one of the first things she does is bring her three young girls to Redland Ranch, a popular produce and smoothie shop in the agricultural area of Southwest Dade.

Palmer, who is active duty in the Army in Missouri, said she loves the shop’s “tropical all over” atmosphere and the attentive customer service. Rolando and Carmen Zedan, the husband and wife owners, know exactly what she wants to order every time she visits.

“She even cuts up the mangoes small for my babies,” Palmer said pointing to Carmen.

The Zedans created Redland Ranch, which opened last November, to be a relaxed family environment. Hammocks are strung between some of the 42 avocado trees, and guests lie back while sipping tropical juices, smoothies and shakes made from locally grown fruits of the Redland. In addition, 28 shaded sapodilla trees, eight lychees, four dragon fruits and one kumquat freshen the air around the 1¼ acre property.

“It’s a dream come true for both of us,” Rolando said, explaining that he had always wanted to own a farm and Carmen had always wanted to own a smoothie store.

As Carmen blends mango and pineapple behind a long counter, customers peruse the natural Florida products and merchandise inside the open-air market. Shelves of seven different locally harvested honeys, including mangrove, gallberry and Everglades flavors, line the back wall of the shop. Marmalades from Dundee, seasonings from Sebring and hot sauces from Felda, are just a few of the many cooking extras for sale. The only two out-of-state items are Costa Rican pineapples and California oranges.

Outside, staghorns for sale suspend beneath a wooden planter. And Rolando grows little orchids and ferns inside of hollowed out tree stumps; his leftover trimmings.

“We don’t like to waste anything,” Rolando said. He pointed to some tables he constructed from recycled Florida Power and Light wooden electrical cable reels. He completed the look with wooden stools cut from electricity line poles. Shipping pallets were renewed into swinging seats and cushioned chairs sprawl out across the property.

“When my dad wanted to open a business here, he wanted to keep it noncommercial and natural,” said Joshua Zedan, 17, Rolando’s son, who helps out with business during the summer.

“When I’m here, it’s not really work. It’s so relaxing,” Joshua said. “But it took a lot of work to make it look like this.”

The property of Redland Ranch had been up for sale for 19 months before the Zedans closed a deal. As a result, the lot was wild and overgrown. It took four days of burning branches and weeds, eight truckloads of trash and 3½ months of overall labor to transform the dense land into the tranquil city escape that it is today.

Where the produce shop is now located, used to be a workshop where the previous owner repaired boats. The Zedans took the upper level above the shop and made that their home. The house’s four garages are used to store tools and leftover produce that’s out of season in large freezers.

The Zedans are hardworking. They open shop every day of the week except for Mondays and Tuesdays, which is when they typically run around from local farms and packing houses to stock up for the upcoming week.

“We follow the instinct of what the customers are really looking for,” Rolando said, explaining that they are always improving the menu and the ambiance of the ranch. They even installed a horse hitching post, because not all customers come by car.

“We have to give thanks to God and to our customers who support us.”

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If you go

▪ Where: Redland Ranch, 14655 SW 232nd St., Miami

▪ When: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays- Fridays; 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturdays- Sundays; closed Mondays and Tuesdays

▪ Contact: 786-493-2805