It's October, the moist shroud has lifted from Miami's skies, and the intoxicating scent of freshly baked cinnamon rolls is in the air!
Knaus Berry Farm
, the Homestead farmstand that's famous for its freshly baked cinnamon rolls, is now open for the season.
Knaus has a passionate following, with people willing to wait in line for hours to get their hands on a dozen cinnamon rolls. Lines sometimes form well before the bakery opens at 8 a.m., filled with people who've traveled for miles for a chance to be the first on their block to snag those fresh, sweet rolls.
Thomas Blocher, head of operations at Knaus, says that this year Knaus is staying with its tried and true array of rolls, pies, and bread. "There's nothing even slightly new this year. We're sticking with the menu we've had these past couple of years."
Blocher says costs have risen — especially for eggs — but his team is trying to keep the prices reasonable. "I hope that this is a luxury that people can still afford," he says. This season, a dozen cinnamon rolls cost $15.25 (up 75 cents from last season), and there's a 12-dozen-per-person cap on purchases.
While you're at the bakery, Blocher suggests trying some other of the rolls and bread baked fresh daily. "The herb rolls are popular, and the cheese rolls have been growing in popularity," he notes, adding that there was a time when the breads outsold the cinnamon rolls. "That was about 30 years ago," he admits.
As always, Knaus accepts cash only and is closed on Sundays as well as on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
When asked about any tips and tricks for avoiding the long lines, Blocher says there really aren't any. "Not this time of year. It's all pretty much the same," he says, adding that lines are always longer on Friday and Saturday (so check if you have any PTO and make a day of it). "It's always crazy when we open up, and it stays that way until after Thanksgiving. Once you get past the first of the new year, it's manageable."
That said, he reports that the bakery pretty much sells everything it makes each and every day. How many cinnamon rolls does that include? "A lot," he says.
Blocher says he's still surprised each year at the lines that form for the cinnamon rolls. Maybe because the rolls have become a tradition that gets passed down? "We hear stories about generations of people coming to Knaus," he agrees. "It's nice to hear that we've left a positive memory in their lives."
Knaus Berry Farm was founded in 1956 as a roadside stand where Ray and Russell Knaus sold berries. The brothers expanded their inventory to include pies, breads, and other baked goods after a fruit broker told Ray's wife, Barbara, that her cookies were good enough to sell. The farm is now run by Ray and Barbara's children and their families.
If you plan to visit Knaus, be prepared to wait in line. Bring water and an umbrella to shield you from the sun. And don't forget to bring cash.
Knaus Berry Farm. 15980 SW 248th St., Homestead; 305-247-0668; knausberryfarm.com. Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cash only.