Sarah K’s Gourmet, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in September, is a longtime area favorite, and also a beloved weekly mainstay at the Seaside Farmers Market. Sarah K’s has won the Best of the Emerald Coast award for many years since opening its doors and along with a wealth of other accolades, founder Sarah K. Schreifer was recently honored as one of the Top 10 Leaders on the Emerald Coast.
The secret of this business’ success is a simple one — the focus is always on family.
Families sharing meals together is a key element to a happy vacation. Stopping by to stock up on Sarah K’s Gourmet means simply heating up your meal when you are ready. This means you get all the convenience of dining at an upscale restaurant, but on your own timeline. No need to get the whole group out the door to beat the dinner rush.
Likewise, Schreifer’s management approach makes her staff feel like important members of a close-knit family-like team. She regularly arranges time together outside of work where she doles out plenty of positive feedback, as well as tips for improvement. Training is central to her leadership style too; she carefully crafts each recipe and then patiently teaches her crew how to prep them.
“We also always listen to our customers,” shared Sarah K’s manager, Christina Fell. The menu changes seasonally, and often times creativity is sparked from customer suggestions. Sarah K’s famous jumbo lump crab cakes and chicken salad will always be on the menu. But new items are added continually. Accommodating customers with food allergies is also a priority; Sarah K’s menu includes gluten-free options like the twice-baked potatoes and chicken salad.
The chicken salad rendition is a favorite with local and visiting foodies. The chicken is first seasoned and roasted before shredding; thus imparting a ton of flavor to the meat. The salad itself is comprised of a healthful, light amount of mayonnaise, textural crunch from toasty walnuts, and balanced perfectly with tangy dried cranberries. The Seaside Famers Market gets many a repeat customer eager to pick up a pint.
Surely the most popular dish is Sarah K’s award-winning crab cakes. Locally sourced blue crab is used in both the dinner sized and appetizer sized versions. One hundred percent jumbo lump crab meat is bound together using the slightest butter roux, shaped into patties, dredged in panko, and flash fried until golden. These gems are frozen for convenience and the final step is left to customers to finish them in a 450-degree oven. They make the perfect seafood treat for enjoying at your beach home after a day spent gulf side.
The upcoming holiday season will be busy at Sarah K’s too. Thanksgiving meals complete with fried turkeys, all the traditional sides, and of course pumpkin, pecan and apple pies will be available for order. This time of year equals family time spent around the table, and Sarah K’s Gourmet is happily making that part effortless.
Sarah K’s Gourmet is a valued vendor at Seaside Farmers Market every Saturday from 8 am - noon. The retail space is located at 34940 Hwy 98 in Destin. Contact them at (850) 269-0044 or visit sarahks.com.
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