Sarasota, Florida – For years, we have been coming to Sarasota to visit the grandparents, but this is the first time that I learned about the Amish and Mennonite communities that live here. I first learned about the Mennonites years ago in Belize, where there are several communities around the country. In Belize, it’s not unusual to see them driving their horse-drawn carriages along the rural highways or shopping in local markets. In Florida, I noticed individuals in traditional dress, riding their bikes along the busy multi-lane roads, past the strips malls and retirement communities.
After doing a bit of research, I discovered that the village of Pinecraft is a small Amish and Mennonite community in Sarasota with about 3000 residents. In addition to the year-round residents, Sarasota apparently attracts thousands of Mennonite snowbirds. (Why not? Mennonites go on vacation too! But do they go on the airplane? That’s what I want to know…)
But the most important thing we discovered about the Amish and Mennonite community in Sarasota is Detwiler’s Farm Market. This is a smallish, affordable, but otherwise unremarkable supermarket with a couple of outlets around town. It happens to be owned by an Amish family. And it just happens to serve the Most Amazing Ice Cream Ever. Especially the cinnamon. We are coming back.