By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
As I’ve written before, Key lime — that creamy soft yellow tinged with green — is for sure a Palm Beach color. Many is the house on the Florida coastline painted Key-lime green with white trim and, maybe, a turquoise-colored door.
If someone says “Key lime” to a Palm Beacher, he or she might think about the Old Key Lime House restaurant in Lantana, which is famous for its crab cakes and its swing chairs on the wharf.
But Key lime to most of us brings to mind that delicious pie made from the green-skinned fruit, which grows in the rich soil of South Florida, along with the oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and mangoes. The colors of these fruits are what I call happy colors, full of cheer and glamour. The late Lilly Pulitzer — along with the venerable Key West Hand Print Fabrics — made these colors a clothing classic in Palm Beach.
I don’t think anyone in Palm Beach knows citrus better than Stephanie Bojokles of Tropical Fruit Shop fame, which for 101 years operated at its own storefront on Royal Poinciana Way. A few years ago, Stephanie moved her products to Sprinkles Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop down the street. She also has continued her online operations at TropicalFruitShop.com.
Even in these days of the Covid-19 quarantine, Stephanie continues to offer home deliveries, not only of her Key lime pie, but also of grapefruits and oranges. Her business is booming, she tells me.
This is the time to order Valencia oranges, the oranges that have been on the trees the longest. Remember, the longer the fruit stays on the tree, the sweeter it becomes, and Valencia oranges certainly deliver in that aspect. They also have the most beautiful orange color. Valencia oranges are the last available in the season, so a call to Stephanie at 561-832-3449 is a must. Or visit the website for ordering info.
Stephanie downsized to Sprinkles when customer traffic on Royal Poinciana Way suffered during the years-long construction of the new Flagler Memorial Bridge. Although she had been named by the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce as its 2010 Business Leader of the Year, she was forced in 2017 to close the shop she had run for 27 years. But the famous orange-juice machine from Tropical Fruits still operates at Sprinkles!
My favorite delight from Stephanie’s business has always been the Key lime pie. People say it’s the best in Palm Beach — and I never disagree with them. Stephanie makes the pies herself, and she’ll deliver one to your home for $22.95. She makes them fresh to order, too.
I’ve always thought citrus colors are a terrific choice to enliven the decor of Palm Beach sun rooms, outdoor loggias, pool patios and condominium balconies. Consider pairing Valencia orange and Key-lime green with a dash or two of rich lemon yellow.
Why choose beige when you could be greeted with a cheerful Key-lime-green-and-white decorating scheme, poolside. I know that would be a combination my decorating mentor, the late Dorothy Draper, would recommend. She always thought happy colors helped make happy homes.