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The Story of Robert, Owner and Founder of Robert Is Here

The Story of Robert, Owner and Founder of Robert Is Here

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Sixty years ago, Robert Moehling started a family-owned and operated business that is now considered a South Florida landmark.

In November 1959, 6-year-old Robert Moehling was instructed by his farming father to sell cucumbers in an effort not to waste the produce. He then sat Robert on the corner of W 192nd Street and SW 344th Street, but no one stopped.

His father figured drivers could not see Robert, so the next day he painted a hurricane shutter in big red words saying, “Robert Is Here.” Robert sold out, and the rest is history. Sixty years later, Robert Is Here hasn’t changed location but now is a world-renowned fruit stand and farm, which became a South Florida landmark attracting locals and tourists from all over the world.

“My mom and dad moved down here from Illinois and started farming when I was three months old,” says Robert. “I started helping them sell produce since I was little, as everybody knows.” At age nine, he hired a neighbor to work while he was in school, and by age fourteen, he bought ten acres of land and started farming. Now, he owns forty.

He not only built a business from scratch, but he also built a family. “When I turned about 27, a young lady came into the store, four weeks later we were engaged, and after four months, we got married,” remembers Robert. Her name is Tracey, and she has been working in the business alongside him since then.

Kids arrived and Robert Is Here became a business run by the whole family. “We had four children. I have an older son, Brandon. I got an older daughter called Victoria, then came Robert, my younger son. We had a fourth child; her name is Savannah, like the city in Georgia,” he gently laughs.

As it happened, all four kids began working in the family business. “All kids had to come to work when they turned 11.” Years later, they went to college and came back home. “I didn’t go to college, so I forced them to go to school. It was such a good experience for them, like being on vacation, and then they decided to come back where they belong.

As the family and business got bigger, grandchildren arrived. Moehling has around 60 employees that are part of the family. Employees have him as a mentor with discipline and love who built with his own hands an inspirational success story. He is an organized man that understands policies and procedures. To work here, all applicants must follow the same processes, and before filling out an application, they have to undergo a math test.

Robert is a big friendly man who goes around the store greeting customers, taking care, and supervising all duties. Wearing shorts, a T-shirt and an apron, he points out and describes all the produce he has in the stand, which in his own words, “are too many and too varied, so it’s not easy to count them all.”

“I’ll go slow,” he says while describing the fruits. “We got mangos, papayas, avocados, but also beautiful tomatoes and vegetables. It’s just a mixture of everything. We got pitaya, guanabana, sapodilla, tamarindo, guavas, pomegranate, passion fruit and bananas,” and the list goes on.

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Almost all fruits and vegetables are grown on their farm; others come from imports or different parts of the country. “I grow and sell. I buy and sell. People want to see variety in here. I can’t have the same produce year around. When something is out of season here, I bring it in from somewhere else,” mentions Robert.

Although Robert Is Here remains a fruit stand, it has grown into a complete tourist destination in South Florida, and it belongs to the historic Redland Tropical Trail; an Everglades traveler should stop in this place where the whole family can enjoy an animal farm, a playground, and picnic tables.

If you visit, Robert will greet you with a warm smile while suggesting you try a delicious tropical fruit you’ve never heard of. Before you leave, don’t forget to order a one-of-a kind milkshake made with any exotic fruit from the house.

Haz clic para leer en Español: La historia de Robert, propietario y fundador de Robert Is Here

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