Food News

LNB Grovestand in West Kendall Offers Turmeric Bagels, Rainbow Smoothies, and More

The rainbow smoothie from LNB Grovestand
The rainbow smoothie from LNB Grovestand Photo by Nicole Danna
LNB Grovestand is famous for three things: a rainbow smoothie, turmeric-everything bagels, and a rich turmeric concentrate.

To make them, LNB Grovestand's Walter Chefitz and Adena Ellenby spend the week harvesting, cleaning, and processing dozens of pounds of fresh produce from Ellenby's family farm. The work is in preparation for the weekend grovestand, a drive-thru market that allows the public to sample the best of the farm's bounty.

Ellenby tells New Times the 150-acre Redland farm has been in her family for two generations. Founded in the early '80s by her parents, Marc and Kiki, today it's their children — including her brother Levi and sisters Jody and Aliya — that continue the stewardship of the farm's tropical crops.

One thing that hasn't changed much over the decades, however, is the variety. For years, LNB — an abbreviated take on the family's last name — has operated as a wholesale farm. The tropical fruits and vegetables are the most prolific — things like sapodilla, jackfruit, mamey, lychee, roselle, ginger, beet, and turmeric.

It wasn't until 2010, however, that Adena and her husband, Chefitz, decided to offer goods to local consumers with a grovestand at the Pinecrest Farmers Market.

As a trained chef, Adena says it was a pleasure to share her love of cooking while educating customers on various ways to enjoy the family's fresh farm produce.

"We'd sell fresh fruits and vegetables, but my real passion was to show people what they could make with the foods that we grew," she says. "So many people didn't know what mamey or jackfruit was, so making smoothies began as a way to help our customers appreciate tropical fruit."

A growing list of products began with the couple's fruit and vegetable smoothies. In the early days, the colorful smoothies — red from beets, vibrant green from kale, or golden yellow from jackfruit — attracted hungry customers looking for a healthy snack.

When customers began asking to mix different smoothies together, the couple decided to layer them, and their popular rainbow smoothie was born. Over time, more items were added alongside the produce, including Adena's whole-root turmeric concentrate, a small-batch granola made using honey from the farm, and locally crafted goods like Counter Culture kombucha and Frice Cream ice cream made using LNB-grown fruit.
click to enlarge
The turmeric-everything bagel with scallion and black pepper cream cheese from LNB Grovestand
Photo by Nicole Danna
In 2020, the pandemic offered Chefitz and Ellenby a chance to focus on expanding their efforts to a commercial kitchen. Rather than return to the Pinecrest Market, the duo began offering a drive-thru, pop-up grovestand. When word got out, the West Kendall operation morphed into a permanent weekend operation.

For $10 to $15, customers continue to make the trek west for LNB's rainbow smoothie. It begins with the "Jackson" — a yellow layer of jackfruit and passionfruit. Next, the orange-hued "Sapodelicious" combines sapodilla, mamey, and passionfruit. A green "Tropikale" continues with kale, ginger, and banana. And last is a topping of fuchsia "BB Rose," which derives its color from beets and steeped roselle (better known as hibiscus).

"A lot of love goes into these smoothies," says Adena. "It's a yearlong process to continually harvest, ripen, clean, and freeze each ingredient. But it's worth the effort to see people enjoying fresh, local produce no matter what the season."

But it's the Sunday-only, $5 turmeric-everything bagels the chef and her husband are most proud of, says Ellenby, who was inspired to use the commercial bakery mixer and ovens that came with their space.

"We were looking for another way to use our turmeric," says Ellenby. "We'd made pasta and bread, but after an episode of Schitt's Creek where they make their bagels, we knew we had to give it a try."

Early each Saturday, the couple begins the process of making just 12 dozen hand-rolled bagels, their turmeric concentrate lending color, flavor, and nearly 10,000 milligrams of turmeric to the mix. A simple alchemy of yeast, flour, and water is used to craft the ideal bagel, a dough that rises overnight before each is steamed — not boiled — ending with a short bake in the oven.

The resulting spheres of dough emerge a deep golden brown and sport a hallmark thin, bubbly, crispy shell that gives way to a soft, dense interior. And while each bagel contains nearly a full ounce of Adena's honey-, lemongrass-, and ginger-infused, whole-root turmeric concentrate, the flavor is mild enough to tease the palate with hints of sweet and spicy.

Grovestand customers can order them individually or in a family pack of a half dozen for $25 per order. But they're best when split and toasted onsite, served with a side of scallion-pepper cream cheese that's whipped to a fluffy consistency with the farm's black pepper and locally grown scallion.

"We're only open two days a week, but that's the point," Ellenby says. "We work all week to bring the community these products, and we feel so blessed to have the love and support to keep going. It's a labor of love, but we wouldn't have it any other way."

LNB Grovestand. 13591 SW 135th Ave., Miami; lnbgrovestand.com. Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna

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