Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Food Palace On Fleming

Faustino Castilo, a Cuban cigar worker immigrant opened a grocery in Key West in 1926.

There are two food palaces, one on White Street and this one on Fleming just off Duval. It's an odd thing but people who live in Key West dislike traveling between the two halves of the island. Considering it's just four miles long, tip to tip, you'd think it would be no big deal crossing town to shop for groceries.

Yet it is a big deal and I find myself, the inveterate traveler, groaning at the thought of having to go downtown to complete a chore. Weird but true, it's the island effect.

Jimmy Weekly is Fausto's grandson, a former mayor currently sitting on the city commission and can still be seen working in the family business. Fausto's is surviving in a country that reveres chain stores and this week Publix is opening a newer and bigger and better chain grocery in Key Plaza.

This store is in business because it answers the demands of the shoppers. I love the funky Home Depot pots used in the vegetable section. In the cheeses you will find every kind of exotica, Sardinian sheep cheese to name but one. I bought a roundel of mango cheddar and it turned out to be very good. But there again I like almost any cheese except goat.

I remember shopping in New York where wine can't be sold in the supermarket. Eat your heart out New Yorkers. This is what impulse wine shopping looks like. Cartlidge and Brown make a nice merlot which Fausto's happens to sell.

They also have a nice little website which may be of interest if you miss Fausto's check that website which features Jimmy Weekly smiling maniacally, as he should living the dream as he does in his hometown.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Anonymous said...

Fausto's...A good place to buy chocolate milk. Scooter Vic

Brady Steffl said...


What the hell do you mean you don't like goat cheese? Oof. I didn't know you were so uncouth. (Smiley face emoticon)

The only stores we have around here like that are the tiendas - mexican shops. I like going there, they've got really good tacos, too, but I do get weird looks as the only gringo in the place. +1 for local businesses.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I go to KW, I always buy my chocolate milk at Faustos!

Bob from Livingston Montana

Conchscooter said...

Goat cheese tastes of goat. How anyone wants to eat goo that tastes of goat is beyond me.
Perhaps instead I need to start drinking chocolate milk instead. Sounds good to me. Any chocolate milk in particular?

Anonymous said...

Just a lyric from Jimmy Buffett. "Went to Faustos to get some chocolate milk." All Parrotheads make a trip to Faustos to get chocolate milk. I've done it seven times now. Scooter Vic

Anonymous said...

It's from the song, "My head hurts, my feet stink and I don't love Jesus" the Havana Daydreamin' album (1976)

Bob from Livingston Montana