If you are a frequent diner in South Florida’s top restaurants, chances are you’ve enjoyed the fresh, local flavors and exceptional produce from Swank Specialty Produce, a family-owned farm in Loxahatchee Groves, just 20 minutes west of West Palm Beach, Florida.
Swank Farm was started in 1996 around the idea of growing different types of produce not normally grown in South Florida. What was started as a smaller lettuce operation has now grown into over 360 varieties of specialty produce and wild flowers on 20 acres in Loxahatchee Groves.
Over the past 20-plus years, the Swank family has established longstanding relationships with many of South Florida’s top chefs and restaurants, which led to the development of an amazing line of produce, tailored for the cooking community. Today more than ever, health-conscious consumers want to know where and how their food is grown. Chefs benefit from the full flavor of local produce grown in the South Florida sun, as nature intended. All protection products on Swank Farm are OMRI (organic materials review institute) certified. Best of all, Swank Farm greens are harvested live and packaged on the same day which adds to a long-lasting shelf life.
Look for Swank produce on menus of the very best restaurants and chefs across Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. Some of Swank’s biggest Chef supporters include Zach Bell (Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, formerly Addison Reserve and Café Boulud), Nick Morfogen (Pine Tree Golf Club, formerly Delray’s 32 East), Paula DaSilva (Burlock Coast at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale), and Michael Beltran (Michelin-Star recipient at Ariete in Coconut Grove).
SWANK FARM SATURDAY FARMER’S MARKET
Swank Farm has been proud to sell exclusively to the best restaurants and hotels directly for two decades—that was before COVID-19. In March 2020, when the world shut down, Swank was left with a farm full of food as restaurants were forced to close. This meant good news for home cooks at a time when everyone was forced to cook and eat at home! The Swanks quickly launched a drive-thru operation, selling their fresh produce to customers who pulled up in their cars! The success and popularity of this initiative among South Florida’s savvy home cooks led Swank Farms to continue selling to the public by starting their own Saturday Farmer’s Market at Swank Farm, selling their exquisite produce and gorgeous wildflower bouquets and inviting several dozen outside vendors, making this a bona fide Farmer’s Market and pleasant alternative to the crowded downtown weekend markets.
Swank Farms kicked off their 3rd season on Saturday, October 8, 2022, where the farm is open to the public to purchase produce and wildflowers from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays through May 2023.
SWANK TABLE GOURMET DINNERS AT THE FARM
South Florida foodies take note: Reserve your seats today for the 2023 season of SWANK TABLE! You are invited to come “down on the farm” to Loxahatchee Groves, tour the hydroponic growing houses, then plant yourself at “SWANK TABLE” for a sumptuous dinner featuring Swank’s produce, prepared by local and nationally known chefs right before your eyes! This season, SWANK TABLE will host eight al fresco dinners in the green fields, calling on the best of Florida’s farmers, ranchers, artisanal producers, micro-brewers, distillers and organic winemakers, to feature their products in these exceptional multi-course dinners. Each SWANK TABLE event will donate a portion of the proceeds to local charities.
When you arrive on the Farm, you will be greeted with a ‘first bite’ appetizer and a handcrafted specialty cocktail as you listen to music by local entertainment, or explore some of the fields. Next, guests are treated to a specialty tapas plate, consisting of 4 unique dishes created by these chefs and paired with the perfect wine. Darrin Swank, Co-Owner/Farmer will take you on a 20-minute hydroponic tour of the shade houses for Q & A’s. Then everyone will move under the majestic Pole Barn and be seated at family style tables, where you will be served a 5-course plated dinner created by visiting and resident chefs. A Sommelier will provide you with wine to match your dishes and local craft brewers will have a selection of their specialty brews. Eat, drink and listen to amazing music by a variety of local bands and artists. Finally, end the night with dessert provided by some of the best dessert chefs South Florida has to offer. The perfect ending to a perfect night down on the farm. The name does say it all—Swank Farm is way more than your average farm—it is indeed Swanky, a perfect match for South Florida’s sophisticated clientele.
Q+A WITH JODI SWANK, CO-PROPRIETOR SWANK SPECIALTY PRODUCE
Fred Bollaci: As a native New Yorker, I detect a New York accent—not your typical Florida farmer! Tell me how you got to South Florida and to Swank Farm?
Jodi Swank: I was born in Brooklyn, New York. My father was a Kosher butcher, and my mother was in textiles. In college, I majored in Travel and Tourism, and got a summer job in 1983, working for Lee Braunstein, President of Space & Leisure Time in Manhattan, where I worked for 4 years, before relocating to South Florida to work at their offices in Boca Raton and Pompano Beach. I met and married my husband Darrin in 1992 in Boca—he was an electrician and owner of a lawn service, but had a calling to be a farmer. After marrying, we used our savings to purchase 20 acres in Loxahatchee Groves, which would become Swank Farm.
FB: How did you and your husband transform the 20-acres into Swank Specialty Produce?
JS: While working our other jobs, my husband researched hydroponic farming and studied whether there was a local need for specialty crops—as it turns out, there definitely was! After 9/11, the travel and tourism industries were in shambles, and we were both ready for the next chapter—to be farmers, so we went all-in! We began commuting daily from Coconut Creek in Broward County, an hour each way to the farm. Our accountant suggested we purchase a small house at the time closer to the farm and invest our savings and profits in developing the farm and growing our operations. We took his advice and bought and lived in a small park trailer home on the farm for 14 years before building our dream home. The sacrifices paid off! We raised our children in a small home on a lot of land in the country, eating the freshest and best produce that we grew, and as a result, we are a very closely-knit family.
FB: How did you become the leading supplier of fresh local specialty produce in South Florida?
JS: We literally grew our business organically—both on the farm and out in the community. When we started selling our produce, I went in-person with produce to many restaurants and hotels in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties where we met directly with the chefs, who found that our products spoke for themselves and purchased from us on the spot—and kept coming back! I credit my strong, determined New York personality, my working-class upbringing, and my husband for being my partner in success, we are living our version of “The American Dream!”
FB: Is there anything you want your readers to know about you or Swank Specialty Produce?
JS: “Farming ain’t an easy job!” Before COVID, we had 8-10 full-time employees at the farm. Today, we have just 4 employees, a delivery driver, plus my husband and myself. As a true family business, we have to pick up any slack. We live where we work—we are there all day every day and we are totally hands-on. Ours is a true labor of love.
FB: What are some of the most unique items you grow and sell?
JS: We have this pink-stem celery, which is beautiful! Winter in South Florida is the season for peppers—hot, sweet, five colors of bell peppers, and yellow jalapenos. We are best known for our unique lettuces and greens, and usually have 11-12 varieties, which we sell in mixes—Spring, Asian, Oakleaf, Lola Rosa, and Red and Green Bibb lettuces. Our chefs and their diners especially love our Little Gem Lettuce.
FB: Tell us a bit more about the Farmer’s Market at Swank Farm?
JS: Unlike urban farmer’s markets, we don’t have arts and crafts, jewelry, or clothing, etc.—we are food and drink focused, and our setting is authentic and a nice, easy escape from the hustle and bustle. We are only 20 minutes from the heart of West Palm Beach. We are a relaxing alternative to the local farmer’s and green markets which are crowded and parking is a challenge. We feature 25+ other great bakers, growers, gardeners, and sellers of the best farm fresh products that you could possibly want in an open-air 8,500 square foot barn. Come out to the farm for a delicious cup of coffee, Danish, or breakfast sandwich, breathe the clean country air, and stock up for the week. Remember to say hi to our pigs, chickens, and sheep on your way in or out! Bring your biggest shopping bags and go home happy!
FB: You sell to many of the best restaurants in South Florida and have established long-term relationships with many excellent chefs. Do you have a favorite place to dine when you’re not busy working?
JS: We love to cook home in my dream kitchen that we finished 3 years ago on the farm, so we don’t go out a lot. One of my favorite places when we do is Jewel Bistro in Lake Worth. We enjoy their pizza, burgers, and fresh fish—the food is very clean. It’s nice to let someone else do the cooking on occasion.
Saturday Market Vendors Include:
Swank Farm Produce and Wild Flower bouquets
Blis Foods, Caribbean Plants and Produce, Clean Juice, Cottage Garden Teas, Dirty Bird Hot Sauce, Frik and Frak Local Sauces (sold at Swank Table), Gratitude Garden Farms, Hive Bakery and Café, Jon Wine – The Tasting Room, Krypto Bud, CBD products, Kyle’s Seafood, Miami Club Rum / Una Vodka, Orchid Tree Ceramics, Palm Beach Creamed Honey, Parce Cofee Roasters, Pasta Paulie’s, Plant Depot of Palm Beach, Pork-Etta by, Tiziano, Roots Pharm, Sara’s Slow Jam, Sassy Palate, Simplee Bee Honey, Southern, Unique Sustainability, Stamper Cheese, Sunshine Crunch, Sutton Milk (once/twice a month), Tea Tell Truth, Trinity Ranch Custom Beef, Uncle Swabbs Pasterized Poultry Farm, On the grill twice a month-L Jay’s Breakfast Sandwiches
SWANK TABLE DINNERS
$175.00 per person
Rain or Shine | Tickets are non-refundable | Adults 21 and over please
Transfer to another date during this season; $35.00 per person
- A Tribute to Julia Child Sunday January 8, 2023
- “Infused” A Cannabis Dinner Sunday January 29, 2023
- Full Moon Chinese New Year “The Year of the Rabbit” Sunday February 5, 2023
- A Middle Eastern Dinner Party Sunday March 5, 2023
- Throwback to the 70’s Sunday March 12, 2023
- Bourbon, Barbecue and Blues Sunday March 19, 2023
- 11th Annual Vêtu de Blanc Sunday April 2, 2023
- Food Cultures of the Caribbean Sunday April 23, 2023
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: www.swankspecialtyproduce.com
All photos courtesy of Swank Specialty Produce