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Mar 3, 2009 03:04 AM

Food and Thought, Naples

We have eaten several times recently at Food and Thought, a small café cum organic produce stand and grocery located at the Gateway Plaza, 2132 Tamiami Trl N, on the East side of 41 just north of Golden Gate, not far from TGI Friday. This place is so atypical of Naples, it's worth going there just for the change: it has a very "granola" hippie-commune atmosphere: a limited menu, very reasonable prices, and deliciously healthy food. Each day there is a different menu with just three featured dishes: one fish, one fowl, and one veggie, plus a daily soup and selection of sandwiches and smoothies. Everything is organic and is made from scratch right there, using locally-grown produce from their own farms. You order at a counter and take your food to your table, most of them outside in the shaded courtyard, adjacent to the produce stand. You walk into this place and you'll find yourself thinking, "Am I really in Naples?" The place is expanding into an adjacent much larger space some time in March, 2009. Take a look at their web site (, which mixes menus, philosophy, literary quotations, and life-style advice in a very non-Naples way. I admit it's a tad over-the-top, but what the hay, we're cool, right?

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  1. TomOHaver,

    They expanded, and are doing well. I concur with your observation.

    Local vegetarians and those who seek organics trust it's freshness and prefer its Mom and Pop intimacy more than they do the corporate world at Whole Foods, where things sit on the steam tables for a while. Whole Foods has a huge variety, and not everything is organic. Both have their good points.

    A Note on Whole Foods in Naples

    A young mother recently took a photo of a rather large cheese at Whole Foods, and the manager, Dave, became unnecessarily aggressive, telling her it was a private corporation, all photos wre forbidden, and photos taken even to send a friend were forbidden. He then escorted her completely out of the store, humiliated her, and made a few less customers in the process, as word gets around about bullies, and puts a black eye on Whole Foods corporate policy that allows and supports Dave's behavior.

    My friend is a sweetie, non-confrontational. Dave gets his ya-yas off on bullying a young girl, with the corporate might of Whole Foods attorneys behind him. What a guy, or should I say -what a bully.

    If Whole Foods wants to be that paranoid of eveon one photograph of a cheese, on a corporate level, just put signs stating "Photography is prohibited", customers will usually respect that when so stated, and Manager Dave won't need to get his jollies bullying young mothers out of the store.

    Why forbid photos? One staffer told me, "To keep competitors from copying our unique displays". Uh-huh. as if they can't sneak photos with a cell phone, or a hidden camera in dozens of places like in a purse, tie, glasses, or a woman's pin on a blouse. Maybe things are labeled incorrectly, outdated? There's something to hide is my best guess. Yours?