At Knaus Berry Farm yesterday, customers waited in line for hours for a chance to get their hands on the first cinnamon rolls of the season.
Hundreds of people at a time snaked past the farm's parking lot and out onto the street, waiting for close to three hours on average in the South Florida sun.
Thousands of patrons drove miles to the family-run farm and baked goods stand in Homestead. For many, getting the first rolls of the season is an annual event worth taking the day off for.
Angie Tabio has been traveling to Knaus for cinnamon rolls and pound cake since 1992. "I've been coming here for 26 years," she said. Even though she moved to West Palm Beach, she says the two-hour-plus drive is worth it. "Every time I get a taste of those cinnamon rolls, it just feels like the start of the holiday season."
Roxanne Vogel of Pembroke Pines came with a plan and an umbrella to ward off the sun. "I'm stocking up on three dozen cinnamon rolls to make the line worth it. I freeze them and just pop them in the oven." Before the freezer, Vogel plans to eat one fresh from the bakery. "They just melt in your mouth."
Vacationers Allie and Bruce Miller found their way to Knaus Berry Farm after reading a list of the top things to do in Miami. "I'm expecting really delicious cinnamon and pecan rolls, " said Allie. The Denver native said the only thing back home comparable to the Knaus lines is the first day of ski season: "People wait for the snow back home. They want to be the first on the mountain."
If you go to Knaus Berry Farm, here are five things you need to know:
1. Bring cash. Knaus doesn't accept credit cards. Cinnamon rolls cost $11 a dozen, $5.90 a half-dozen, or $1.25 each. Pecan rolls cost $13.75 for a dozen.
2. Expect long lines through the holidays, even on weekdays. Bring an umbrella, wear sunscreen, and talk to your neighbors in line.
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3. Cool off with a fruit shake. The beverage lines are nominal and the shakes — especially the pumpkin pie — are delicious. The separate shake shack, located just to the right of the entrance, also offers coffee and ice cream sundaes.
4. Knaus is closed Sundays. The farm is also closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
5. Don't expect fresh strawberries and tomatoes just yet. The crops won't yield fruit until later in the year. Pick up some fresh squash, local honey, and guava jam instead.