Local and regional restaurant picks you have to try.
Ken and Wendy Kebrdle started Dignity Roasters with a simple mission.
“Our intent is to employ people [who] are considered unemployable,” Ken explains. “A lot of the folks working for us are either living in tents or their cars. We help them get out of those circumstances.”
The Kebrdles conceived of a way for those individuals to reclaim some of their dignity through the sale of a universally loved beverage rather than through a handout.
“We purchased a roaster and did a lot of testing before we got it right,” Ken recalls. “Then we trained our people. Now we’re roasting coffee beans, bagging and shipping them out.” he continues. “Our folks are paid the equivalent of $10 an hour. They do not get a paycheck. The money helps pay their rent, fines or car insurance—whatever their immediate needs are. We pay the landlord or whomever directly. We also provide a job reference, which enables them to get work elsewhere.”
The coffee is roasted and packaged here in Ocala, using beans sourced from Brazil. “They are single origin.” Ken explains. “It’s fair-trade on their end and ours.”
Both their ground coffee and whole beans are available through their website, retail location and Florida Local Exchange.
“We also encourage people to subscribe,” Ken adds. “A weekly, bi-weekly or monthly subscription, to your home or business, allows you to receive a discount and helps create stability for those in need.”
Learn more › Dignity Roasters › dignityroasters.com › (352) 727-0239
Ice Cream For Everyone
A den of deliciousness located within Market Street at Heath Brook, Simply Ice Cream has quickly established itself as a local favorite for handmade ice cream. Family owned and decidedly family friendly, they offer 24 distinct flavors in the form of scoops or shakes and feature weekly specials like half-off cones for kids on Wednesdays and a 10 percent discount for veterans on Thursdays. Visitors praise the wonderful customer service and cozy environment.
Learn more › Simply Ice Cream › 4414 SW College Rd., #420, Ocala › simplyicecreamocala.com › (352) 355-1085
A downtown destination for serious gourmets and home cooks alike, The Olive Oil Market has a tasting room where you can sample more than 50 varieties of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They also have a vast assortment of fresh spices, herbs, rubs, seasonings, local honey, olives, jams, jellies and salsas, as well as gift baskets filled with gourmet treats. They recently added a selection of Himalayan salt lamps and olive-wood cutting boards and bowls. And check out their online olive oil and balsamic vinegar pairing guide, as well as some great recipes, ranging from Easy Bruschetta Penne with Roasted Asparagus to Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil Ice Cream.
Learn more › The Olive Oil Market › 16 S Magnolia Ave., Ocala › theoliveoilmarket.store › (352) 512-0177
A New Location
After developing a dedicated following at their successful Ocala outpost, this casual dining BBQ restaurant has staked out new territory in Citrus County. Locals are already obsessed with their dry rub beef brisket, pulled-pork tacos and fall-off-the-bone ribs. Diners also give high marks to their hoecakes and great sides.
Learn more › Hardwood Smokehouse › 508 North Citrus Ave., Crystal River › hardwoodsmokehouse.com › (352) 228-8840