In 1924 brothers Jess and Harley Knaus, farmers with German-Baptist roots, moved from Missouri to Miami. They came for the construction work, helping to build Miami's first boom. When the hurricane of 1926 ended that, they returned to their farming roots and began raising vegetables on an 80-acre farm near what is today the Homestead Air Reserve Base.
Due to World War II related hostilities off of the Florida coast, the Knaus family decided to return to Missouri, but in the 1950s brothers Russell and Ray Knaus (Jess's sons) decided to return to the family farmlands in Florida--because Missouri is a depressing place. Initially, they sold strawberries, and soon thereafter opened a bakery.
Knaus Berry Farm(KBF) has been at its current location at 15980 SW 248 Street since 1959. Today, Ray’s daughters, Rachel and Susan and their husbands oversee the day to day operations of KBF, which includes the bakery, creamery, and a self-pick, pay-by-the-pound strawberry field. KBF is only open in strawberry growing season, which generally runs from November to April.
They're Dunkers, not Amish! (or Menonite)2
One of the notable features of a visit to KBF is the often homespun-clad individuals who staff the bakery and the fields.
Contrary to popular belief, the workers are from a German-Baptist sect known as the Dunkers, who originated in Missouri. Though I was not able to substantiate this, it has long been my belief that the Dunkers spend half the year working in Homstead and half the year living elsewhere (perhaps Missouri).
The Cinnamon Rolls!
There are many delicious things on the menu at KBF including the milkshakes, the guava jelly, and the shoo fly pie! But, the undisputed king of the ring at KBF is the cinnamon rolls. I mean, just look at them:
These gooey morsels of goodness are the reason why I and thousands of several South Floridians have made the trek to KBF many times over. Due to to overwhelming popularity of the cinamon rolls, KBF will actually ship them anywhere in United States and to US troops stationed overseas.
1. Knaus Berry Farm History, http://www.knausberryfarm.com/history.html 2.Knaus Berry Farm: Amish? No! Yummy? Yes! http://www.antisteez.com/random/knausberry-farm-amish-no-yummy-yes/