When you park on the gravel lot alongside the highway, the heat radiates off the sunbaked asphalt and comes at you full blast. There’s no escaping it; it’s the kind of heat you can feel and hear just looking at the waves coming off the road.
Sandee “Monkey” Perry experiences that heat a good portion of the year, perched as she is in her little lean-to/tiki hut with the big “Produce” sign out front and the “Ribeyes – 30 for $20 – USDA Inspected” banner hanging on her truck. Thousands of cars drive past this stand daily, not knowing what they are missing. There’s good eating and Sandee’s unique character inside this unassuming roadside stand.e-climbing) has been in the food stand business for seven years. The location of Monkey’s Boiled Peanut Stand (its official name) has changed a bit over the years, due to construction and flooding, but the devotion of Sandy and her husband (he’s the produce gatherer and transporter, she does sales and makes the jams, jellies and pickles) has not changed. This space, perhaps the size of a master bedroom closet, is lined with tables, bins and refrigerator cases. While you won’t find a vast selection of produce and plants, you will find fresh food, many local items, and Sandy can tell you where all her food comes from. Herbs and orchids are grown in Jupiter Farms. There are stewing, salad, beefsteak and grape tomatoes. Georgia peaches: perfect specimens and not-so perfect (but perfect for cobblers and pies!) share counter space with plums, cherries and strawberries. There are bins of corn, potatoes, mangoes, apples, shallots, onions, ginger and garlic. The refrigerators have lettuces, celery, radishes, carrots and cucumbers. And a big bin of ice cold bottled water.
But you come here for what Sandee spends her time off doing: bread and butter pickles, jams and jellies. Sandee originally started making jams and preserves to use fruits and vegetables, rather than see them spoil. She now has 23 different flavored jams and jellies in her repertoire: from pear preserves to triple berry jam to jalapeño-peppermint jelly. She will take special orders, and in the busy winter/tourist season, she books up fast with regulars who come into town and order dozens of jars for gifts.
Monkey’s Produce is a little hard to find (their business card does not even list an official address), and it’s a little uncomfortable in the deep heat of the summer. But a stand like this is a throwback to what many of us remember as kids, and still see on those rare occasions when we get off the interstate highway system and drive on this country’s backroads: local folks who know their product, sell fresh food and labor over canning and preserving food. For North County residents, it’s just a quick drive north, then take a turn off the highway and swing into Monkey’s.
Monkey’s Boiled Peanut Stand, in the 10300 block of SE Federal Highway, Hobe Sound, FL. The stand is located on the west side of the highway, north of Croft Circle/Pettaway Street and south of the entrance to The Medalist. Open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.