Saturiwa Trading Company: A Mobile Market

Imagine a market that pops up around town. Setting up fresh fruits and veggies, delicious local honey, and other great products…and then disappears. Only to be found again, at a new location, later that week. That dream is the reality of the Saturiwa Trading Company, a mobile market that is the latest addition to Jacksonville’s local food scene. You’ll find Mike Stowers at the head of this new venture, and if you haven’t met him you’re missing out. Stowers isn’t new to the food culture here in JAX. He’s been providing hard to find food items for 20 years for chefs in the city. Now, Stowers is back to his roots by, “making people happy who are into good food.”

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The concept of mobile market with the freshest local goods may be European, but the name Saturiwa Mobile Market (pronounced Sa-TUR-e-WA) is rooted in North Florida. Chief Saturiwa was the first person that Jean Ribault (who explored much of the Southeastern coast) and his men met. “The Frenchmen were starving and Chief Saturiwa and his people fed them and continued to show them how to live off the land”, said Stowers, who is invested in North Florida history. By naming his mobile trading company for Chief Saturiwa, he hopes to honor his memory and his place in history.

While you’ll find the usual in-season suspects at Saturiwa, like shiny eggplants and crisp cabbages, you’ll also find some unexpected goodies. They offer bread from French Pantry, new products from Provision Goods like their pestos and granolas, cheese and milk from Wainright Dairy and a personal favorite find – black garlic. The black garlic comes from Artisan Black Garlic, a producer in Saint Augustine, and is an aged head of garlic with has a specific tang to it. Yes, it really is black, and it’s a must-taste for every garlic lover. You’ll be able to get your own head of artisanal black garlic at GastroFest this year on March 18th!

Saturiwa_cooler_JefreeSHalev copyStowers and his team are excited to be setting up for GastroFest this year. He said that since the, “majority of the places that Saturiwa currently sets up are not open to the public”, it will be nice to be open to the public, “sharing good food with people who appreciate it.” Stowers hinted at some special items that will be available at GastroFest, but wasn’t quite ready to give up the details. However, he did say to be ready for heaping cups of steaming boiled peanuts!

When it comes to plans for the future, Stowers is taking it, “day by day, week by week.”  He’s looking forward to seeing just where Saturiwa takes him. One thing is for sure, Stowers and his team and always introducing new products. One of their newest adventures is the Ribault Box. The Ribault Box is similar to a CSA, but the focus of the box is to provide a, “user everything you’d need to cook with”, said Stowers. For $25 the Saturiwa team goes to all farms on Thursday morning, and then the boxes get packed for you for Friday. When asked how pick up works Stowers said it depends on you, you can pick it up, meet them at a location – basically he said, “we will get the box to you!” You can find the Saturiwa Mobile Market on Facebook, and you’ll be able to find them in their latest spot – for, what might seem like, your very own private market!

About Brentley Stead

april, 2022

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