The Readers’ Choice Awards for the Best of Monmouth in the September issue of Monmouth Health & Life, Sickles Market in Little Silver has raised the bar for all local shopkeepers by receiving top recognition in six categories: five first place awards for Gourmet Foods, Butcher Shop, Cheese Shop, Farmers’ Market and Flower Shop; and second place for Gift Shop. Accolades go to third generation owner, Bob Sickles, and his diligent and knowledgeable staff.
A close second goes to Delicious Orchards in Colts Neck, which was recognized in four categories: second only to Sickles in Gourmet Food, Cheese Shop and Farmers’ Market; and first in Pastries. Delicious Orchards is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary and is a favorite fall destination for picking your own apples. At Thanksgiving time, cars are lined up out the long driveway waiting to pick up homemade holiday pies – they are so delicious.
Other first choices in two categories were Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe, Middletown, for Candy and Chocolate; and Hoffman’s Ice Cream, Spring Lake, for ice cream and milk shakes. Recognized in more than one category were: The Scone Pony, Spring Lake; Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe and Sugarush, Red Bank, and La Rosa’s Bakery, Shrewsbury.
In addition to the best of the aforementioned categories, Sickles is noted for carrying wonderful products produced by local purveyors and a wide range of international gourmet products. Its cheese department carries more than 250 types of cheeses and is overseen by expert cheese mongers. Recently purchased Mimolette and Stilton Blue cheeses were definitively explained and described upon tasting before purchase. A recently acquired product is Pain Poilâne, a crusty French bread flown in fresh from the famous Paris bakery, La Poilâne, every Thursday. An outstanding mineral water at Sickles is Ferrarelle, an Italian water that is naturally effervescent (meaning it comes out of the ground already sparkling), has a distinctive, flavor with a hint of vanilla – quite different from other sparkling waters. Ferrarelle also has a natural spring water, Natía – both waters are sold in limited amounts in the U.S. and only to select specialty retail shops.
Monmouth County residents are very fortunate to have such wonderful resources for locally grown and produced foods, as well as a wide selection of international gourmet products within an easy distance to their homes.
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