I had intentions to write about our community and its efforts at LID, Low Impact Development, which is of large concern for us to keep runoff waters from polluting our waterways. My mind was changed this morning after I had learned of the passing of Frank Oakes last night, he was the founder of Oakes Organic Farms and my favorite grocery and eatery, Food and Thought. I had learned of his death via my FB page and was saddened that this seemingly well 66 year old man had left us so early. After my friend Danny and I did a memorial barefoot beach run in his honor this morning we went by F&T to pay our respects and were not so surprised that, except for the memorial wall and many crying folks, that the stores were open for business as usual just as Frank would have wanted. Frank was controversial to some but was a committed man from business and family all the way through to his political affiliations as I believe we all should be. I admired him for who he was as he brought to town a way for us to support a local business that could help us strive as individuals through healthy organic eating. We had spoken many times usually a statement from me of thanks for opening the business though my last conversation with him was about an NPR radio show I had heard in which another local organic farmer was informing a caller that he could purchase a hardy Everglades tomato plant from Frank Oakes, he was as amused as I to hear the support from a fellow businessman in town. The organic farm and F&T are great businesses that employ many local individuals and provide many of us with many dietary and clothing options throughout the adjoining stores. If I can quote him correctly I believe his business card read,
” Don’t worry bout Nuttin,everythings gonna be alright”
You are right Frank, everything is alright and your smiling self will be missed by those of us that loved you for who you were and the legacy you have left our community.
Frank Oakes was the founder of Naples’ Oakes Farm Market, now run by his sons, and Food & Thought at Naples’ Gateway Center.
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