About Us

The Orange Shop on US Hwy 301 in Citra, Florida has been in business since 1936 growing, packing and shipping the finest Florida Citrus.

For a more in depth interview see our interview in Basil Magazine below: 

Rebecca Subbiah: Why did your family get into citrus farming?
Pete Spyke: My grandfather had a grocery store in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the 1930's.  He specialized in fresh produce and citrus in particular.  People started asking him to ship fruit north to their friends and family during the season, and that aspect of the business steadily increased to the point where he bought a grove a built a citrus packinghouse in the 1940's.  My father succeeded him, and now my sister and I are still in the business.
RS: What is your favorite thing about being a citrus farmer?
PS: Easy -- spending time outdoors.  I love being outside and experiencing the weather, viewing wildlife, and watching the trees grow and produce fruit.  It's endlessly fascinating to me.
RS: Have you seen many changes in citrus farming over the years?
PS: Oh yes.  Technology and research by the University of Florida and USDA have changed the way we manage the trees.  We're now using very high-tech approaches to reduce cost and protect the environment. We're very close to reaching environmental neutrality -- the first cultivated crop that I know of that can be produced with no negative impacts on the environment.  The next step -- environmental improvement, where we actually can link with another waste stream generator and clean up water, air and soil.
RS: What is your favorite fruit?
PS: Whichever variety is ripe at the time.  The varieties all have different taste, and each one is a delicacy.  I'm always amazed at how good citrus tastes.
RS: Do you use Citrus in your kitchen and what tips do you have?
PS: My wife Cindy and I enjoy using our fruit in our home.  Almost every day we make our own salad dressing by squeezing a 1/2 of a fresh grapefruit and adding a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and other ingredients to make the salad complement the main course.  Orange blossom honey, a little mustard, fresh garlic, or a touch of horseradish
all can create interesting flavors.  It's very healthy -- I don't think we've bought a bottle of salad dressing in years.  Adding sections of tangerine, orange and grapefruit create a very delicious salad -- it'll totally spoil you.
RS: We also like peeling tangerines for dessert and squeezing a little fresh juice for our weekend breakfasts.  It's all good.
PS: The ultimate -- section out the fruit and make ambrosia with Oranges, Honey Tangerines, and Grapefruit in the spring.  It's a little work, but the experience is simply unbelievable.
RS: Is there anything you think may surprise folks about citrus growing?
PS: All the places in the world where it's grown.  We've had the opportunity to travel to citrus-growing areas from the southern tip of Africa to the isolated mountain regions of China.  It's grown all through the America's, around the Mediterranean, on every island in the Caribbean, and in the Middle East.  There are little patches all over the place.  People just like citrus fruit.
RS: Breville has a great selection of juicers as a citrus expert what are you looking for in
PS: For me, ease of clean-up.  The less hassle, the more likely you are to use a juicer.
For more information on Pete Spyke and Arapaho Citrus:
Arapaho Citrus Management, Inc.13300 Okeechobee Road
Ft. Pierce, FL  34945
Phone: 772-464-3391
FAX:  772-464-4170
Pete Spyke Cell:  772-216-5370
Pete Spyke Nextel:  158*17*23512
E-mail: pdspyke@arapahocitrus.comhttp://www.arapahocitrus.com/
Rebecca Subbiah:
Rebecca Subbiah RD, LDN, cPT