Alex Hill has a lovely bunch of coconuts, and you can too if you visit him at HarborWalk Village at his Emerald Coast Coconut stand.

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Alex Hill has a lovely bunch of coconuts, and you can too if you visit him at HarborWalk Village at his Emerald Coast Coconut stand.

Hill, a Navarre native, launched his fresh Florida-grown coconut stand Memorial Day weekend, and said the booth is already more popular than he ever expected.

“It’s been pretty popular,” he said. “The first month we went through 1,700 coconuts and we are on track to sell twice as many this month. Coconuts are really trending right now due to their health benefits and besides that people really like taking pictures with them because they have that tropical feel.”

Hill said the idea to run a coconut stand first came to him while on vacation in the Florida Keys.

“I originally started with Italian ice catering, then I was on a sort-of vacation with TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a non-profit that offers care for those grieving the loss of a loved one who died serving in the U.S. Military). While we were waiting to take a group photo I saw a guy selling snow cones and coconuts. Everyone had one and he was just putting a straw in them. They were delicious and I had no idea we grew coconuts in Florida.”

Just a few weeks later, Hill returned to southern Florida and eventually built a relationship with a coconut farmer in Fort Lauderdale. He then hired seven employees to help run the kiosk at the HarborWalk Village, and the rest is history.

“Every week I go down there and bring them up here,” Hill said of the coconuts. “We end up picking about 2,000 a week. These are straight off the tree, fresh grown, Florida young coconuts. We harvest them all by hand.”

Hill's coconuts are green and look different than the iconic brown and hairy fruit people are used to seeing. 

“The green part is actually the husk,” he said. “Whenever you de-husk a coconut it looses some of it’s natural nutrients. So our coconuts are unique – still in their natural form – which is nature’s natural filtration system.”

Another perk Hill said he has in effect right now extends to active duty military members and first responders.

“I am a military veteran, and I try to give back to those who are serving,” he said. “If they come by the coconut stand in uniform we will take care of them, I know how hot it can be in those uniforms here in Florida!”