The ancient Greek philosopher Hippocrates wrote let food be thy medicine. In today’s computer-influenced lingo, we are more likely to say garbage in, garbage out. Both of these statements say the same thing about how food affects our bodies: eat healthy foods to be healthy. We focus on making dishes that appeal to your eye and tongue that also provide the maximal nutritional and health benefits our bodies are designed to digest.
Wishing to combine their talents, the idea for launching a restaurant has long played in the minds of co-owners Johan Everstijn and Roland Strobel. In 2011, that idea was accelerated when Roland’s father passed away very unexpectedly and a mere twenty days later Johan’s mother ceased her year’s-long battle with cancer.
The inspiration for the name was born in the barn of Roland’s mom back in Cincinnati. An old apple press, a staple item for Ohio and other midwestern farmers in the 1800s, sat unused. The pair chose Florida as the home for the restaurant to keep tabs on Johan’s dad. Put the two together and you have a place called The Cider Press Café.
Manufactured in Springfield, Ohio from a patent issued in 1869, the apple press is an authentic piece of American history. Popular during the “Johnny Appleseed” years of settling this vast land, apple presses were routinely found on farms throughout the east and midwest. The press was acquired by Roland’s parents when they bought a small farm outside of Cincinnati in the 1960s.
Roland’s dad, Dr. Rudolf Strobel, was a research chemist with the Procter and Gamble Company. For much of his career he focussed on beverage concentration technologies. The apple press had been used intermittently at the family farm for making apple and grape juices, but had deteriorated over the years. In the 1980s Dr Strobel took the apple press to P&G for the pilot apple juice experiments where it was refurbished and restored. The display boards show his actual work in designing industrial-scale juice concentration processes. After this brief revival, the press went back into the barn.
Now enjoying its senior years, the press sits proudly at the entrance as namesake and mascot of The Cider Press Café. It’s still fully functional but kept “in retirement” for safety.