|Nellie & Joe's originated as the southernmost bottling company in the United States. Founded in 1968 as a family owned business and the "home" of the original Key West Lime Juice, we've expanded our product line to include Nellie & Joe's Key West Lemon Juice and Key West Style Marinades. We invite you to share this Key West Tradition by enjoying our products, trying our recipes, and taking a "taste of the Keys" home to Your table!
The business has grown a great deal since the company was founded by Nellie & Joe Fernandez, who began to bottle in their Key West kitchen and sell their juice in long-necked beer bottles. Even through changes, Nellie & Joe's continues to be a family owned and operated business offering a broader range of products.
Recently outgrowing the Key West facility, Nellie & Joe's is now head-quartered in Pompano Beach, Florida with an additional bottling facility in California.
Today, Nellie & Joe's is a nationally recognized brand, shipping product throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Knowledgeable consumers, including America's best chefs and bakers, have learned to trust the outstanding qualities of our juices, considering them essential ingredients in any kitchen.
While many well-known chefs may claim that they only use freshly squeezed limes and lemons, we know that they are actually using Nellie & Joe's. Our juices are known to perform more consistently than fresh fruit as acidity and pulp levels are controlled during production; critical factors in providing high quality results every time.
For over 40 years, Nellie & Joe's has continued to make America's best and favorite lime juice. A lot has changed since 1968, the Key Lime Pie, once a purely local Florida Keys specialty, is now the Florida "State Pie" and a favorite dessert in every corner of the country, even overseas.
Available all over North America, Nellie & Joe's not only embodies the traditional Island spirit of Key West, but also provides consumers and professional chefs alike, the chance to take "A Taste of the Keys" to their table; no matter where they live, no matter what the season.
(Suitable Subjects for Porch Swing Socials)
Key West, Florida, in addition to being famous as the Southernmost speck of land in the continental United States, is an Island of wonderful taste traditions. Most notable is the Key Lime Pie, a delicious but surprisingly simple dessert to make.
No one knows for certain how and when Key Lime Pie began, except that it was around at the time of the early settlers in the Keys. One speculation is that a locally made home-style custard pie became a favorite when made with the new pre-sweetened condensed milk. This canned milk product had become popular in the southernmost city because of its long shelf life and no need for refrigeration. Limes were abundant in the Keys, and once the lime juice was added to the egg yolks and milk, the mixture would begin to thicken or set. Conchs, Key West locals, say the true Key Lime Pie is not baked, as they say "the lime does the cookin'" of the ingredients.
The first tourist to reach Key West arrived on an island-hopping railroad in 1912, and no doubt carried back to Miami a box or two of the famous cigars (rolled by Cuban craftsmen whose cottages lined Duval Street), as well as a basket of Key Limes. Tobacco for the cigars has not been available since Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba and Key Limes for commercial use have not been grown in the Keys for many years; but serious devotees to "Key Lime lust" no longer have to contemplate an Island trip to get that authentic taste. Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice now enables Key Lime addicts to have their pie and eat it too...anywhere!
It was in the year 1904 that Henry Morrison Flagler, financier, began his most monumental engineering project. The Florida East Coast Extension would connect the island of Key West to Florida's mainland. Tom, Nellie's grandfather, expressed skepticism for Flagler's folly to build such an outrageous project "just to make Flagler richer". Others noted the value of such an accomplishment to the Island. Tom was prophetic about the numerous problems which plagued this undertaking. Storms, labor problems, injuries and fatalities were some of the setbacks to overcome before its completion.
On Celebration Day, January 22, 1912, the first train arrived in Key West. It carried an impressive group of dignitaries, including the men who helped make this dream come true. The triumphant benefactor Henry M. Flagler, arrived in his private railroad car "Rambler", to celebrate the success of a feat considered the "Eighth Wonder of the World". The elaborate reception ended with a ball in Flagler's honor.
Nellie was proud to be among the children selected to present bouquets of flowers to Mr. Flagler. At a family social at her home, Nellie served her very own recipe especially named "Choo Chew Bars" in honor of this commemorative event.
The 1935 Labor Day hurricane blew the train out to sea ending train travel in the Florida Keys. The Monroe County Toll Bridge Commission built the Overseas Highway over the railroad track beds. The railroad tracks were used as bridge railings. Originally toll stations helped to finance the new highway, which opened in 1938, once more linking the Island with the mainland.
In Joe's day, there were over 300 varieties of fish found in the Florida Keys and Key West, the world's finest fishing grounds. And there were almost as many fish stories passed down through the generations. Joe had heard quite a few of them while fishing with his father.
The Depression resulted in fewer jobs causing the head breadwinner to take to the sea in search of food. The local phrase, "Grits, grunts and gravy" was coined during the era. Conch salad, labeled an aphrodisiac, was another favorite of the Islanders. To earn money, Joe cleaned and sold many conch shells to curious visitors.
Joe would prepare the hand lines for fishing while his dad rowed the small boat toward the fishing grounds. His dad cut the bait for bottom fishing which was great around the wrecks on the reef. Sport fishermen in motor boats often caught such fish as tarpon, barracuda and sailfish, which made spectacular jumps when hooked. Joe always thrilled at the sight of these great fish as they were landed.
Joe recalled the story of the huge Grouper which almost swallowed a spear diver who came too close to where it was resting. This abundant species of fish has a large mouth which sucks in its prey for meals. The diver escaped after a short struggle. Another tale tells of a boat captain who yelled instructions to a novice fisherman struggling with a hooked fish to "give it to him!", meaning 'to slacken the line'. To the captain's dismay, the confused angler hastily tossed the rod and reel overboard to the fish!
Joe impressed Nellie on their first date by taking her to see the tame fish at Raul's Place on Roosevelt Boulevard. It was considered a "must see" attraction. Stranger than fiction, the owner hand-fed the fish from his pond, calling them to come, by name. "Only in Key West".
Key West has known both tremendous hardships and spectacular successes. Its people are warm, hospitable and laid-back in the traditional manner of Island living. Long a haven for artists of all kinds, scholars, statesmen, treasure hunters and sun-worshippers; the Island boasts a magical romance.
Key West is indeed Paradise. The little 2 mile by 4 mile island is a destination for travelers from all around the globe. The combination of glorious weather year 'round, emerald seas and sensuous breezes, pull visitors back year after year. Ask many of the people you meet in Key West and they'll tell you, "I came here for a holiday and never went home".
Pompano Beach, FL - Nellie & Joe's announces the addition of two "new Marinades" to compliments their long time favorites, Mojo Criollo and Old Sour.
Nellie & Joe's Key West Style Traditional and Nellie & Joe's Key West Style Cuban Marinades reflect unique taste sensations unlike anything else presently in the market.
In addition to an exciting explosion of tastes, these marinades represent authentic Island recipes that traditionally combine citrus with herbs and spices. Both marinades are 100% natural without any artificial colors, binders or preservatives. They are cholesterol free and carry the Kosher seal of certification.
Nellie & Joe's Key West Style Traditional Marinade uses Nellie & Joe's Key West Lemon Juice as a base with a subtle blend of honey, herbs and spices, for a smooth sweet/sour flavor.
Nellie & Joe's Key West Style Cuban Marinade combines Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice with sour orange, herbs, spices and the heat of habañero peppers.