In the span of an hour, Candice McCarthy sold dozens of eggs to patrons outside her Keys farm in Tavernier last Saturday. There’s a demand for eggs as stores struggle to keep up, but Florida Keys Farm is helping to fill it.
As eggs were handed off, more cars stopped off U.S. 1 throughout the afternoon to grab their dozen. Some made appointments with McCarthy to pick them up. Others dropped by on a whim upon noticing several cars parked alongside the road.
“We need two dozen more,” McCarthy says to her husband, John Simpson, as people come up to the table.
What started out as egg distribution to local friends in town quickly exploded to dozens being dished out to the many people struggling to find their morning meal or key ingredient. McCarthy said friends she routinely delivers to put the Florida Keys Farm name and number on the Southernmost Moms Facebook page. McCarthy said it opened up another group in moms who needed eggs for their kids.
“Now, in addition to all of the business we were getting from people who know us — from our Facebook, website and word of mouth — we’re getting a whole new market of people from Ocean Reef, from down to Islamorada and Marathon because they’re looking for eggs. I got many people on a list for pickup in the week ahead.”
McCarthy has hundreds of chickens, now producing eggs to assist the community who can’t seem to find eggs on store shelves. She recently bought a number of chicks to keep up with demand.
“It’s going to take four to six months before they’re producing eggs,” she said.
Since the New Year, Florida Keys Farm has been out along U.S. 1, MM 93.9 bayside, selling eggs to the public at $6 a dozen with a farmer’s market every Saturday and Sunday. Now, those needing some eggs must contact McCarthy via Facebook or text message for pickup. That’s to keep the interactions to a minimum.
As for payment, she prefers Venmo or Zelle, to avoid the exchanging of money or touching credit cards.
Resident Susan Towner stopped by the farm to grab her eggs after she made an appointment.
“It’s just fantastic,” she said. “Just the help they’re providing is great.”
Next week, McCarthy will be delivering eggs to Key West residents. And she says she’s coming prepared and with protective equipment.
Those requesting eggs can only get a dozen a week so everyone’s needs are met. Message McCarthy on Florida Keys Farm and say that you would like to be added to the egg list. If people don’t have Facebook, text name and “add me to the egg list” to 401-447-6787.