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Think and Grow Rich in Coconuts

What’s more relaxing and enjoyable than sipping on an ice cold green coconut while the sand squishes between your toes and the waves hum you to sleep? We’ll wait.

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For Alex Hill, Owner of Coco Rico Farms, that feeling is exactly what lead him to start his coconut business.

“The first time I ever saw a fresh coconut was in Key West. I had recently separated from the military and was struggling with PTSD and depression,” said Alex.

“While there, I couldn’t help but notice how many people were carrying around these giant green things with a straw in them, but what really got my attention was how happy and excited they were. I wanted to be that happy, and I knew that creating such a memorable experience for others would give me a similar sense of joy and fulfillment that I had been missing.”

So how does one go from the military to a successful entrepreneur in the coconut business? For Alex it all started when he was 12 years old.

“Growing up I didn’t know what an ‘entrepreneur’ was, but I have always been interested in creative ways to make money. I vividly remember my first entrepreneurial experience when I was 12 years old. I sold an authentic sombrero to a local Mexican restaurant in the town I grew up in. I figured they would get better use out of it than me and they agreed to pay me $50! I didn’t know it yet, but I think that is where it all started,” Alex said.

Fast forward to 2012, Alex was deployed in Afghanistan with zero electricity and a limited bookshelf which compelled him to read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill not once, but at least five times while he was there. Alex credits this book for allowing him to see endless possibilities in life and calls it a must-read for anyone who wants to grow in any area of their life, not just business.

With the knowledge to think and grow rich plus a desire to bring others and himself joy, Coco Rico Farms was born. Alex began doing some research and found out that the U.S. imports billions of dollars in coconuts annually, but these coconuts have all been preserved artificially and most aren’t intended for human consumption. This left him wondering why so many coconuts were being imported when we can grow them right here in Florida.

“Florida is the only state in the continental U.S. that can grow coconuts. This is because of our unique tropical climate. We have a network of independent farmers all over South Florida that we work with. Every farm is organic and never treated with pesticides,” said Alex.

“The biggest advantage we have that makes our coconuts special is that we harvest every single coconut fresh weekly by hand at their peak ripeness. They reach our retail locations within 48 hours of harvest so you can definitely taste the difference!”

Not only do coconuts bring joy just by their very name, appearance and taste, they have many health benefits as well.

“Fresh coconuts are so healthy, they were actually used as an alternative to plasma for American soldiers in both WWII and Vietnam. As a veteran, I love that they have military history to them. John F. Kennedy actually kept a coconut shell on his desk at the White House that he credited with saving his life,” Alex said.

From his experience in the military to his entrepreneurial mindset, Alex’s story is one we were excited to tell. Thank you for your time and for your sound advice to all the future entrepreneurs.

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Learn from your mistakes and never stop growing. Find a mentor, read good books to develop your skills and get out there and network as much as possible.” Alex said.

“I can’t stress the last part enough; the people you surround yourself with will determine who you become. The more time you spend around people that have similar goals the more likely you are to reach your own goals.”

You can find Coco Rico coconuts locally at Casino Beach Bar and Grill and special events at the Sneaky Tiki Bar. They will be available at Water Pig and the new Fairfield Inn on Pensacola Beach next month. You can also find their new coconut ice cream at The Reef. Additionally, their retail location “Tiki Time Destin” is open 7 days a week at HarborWalk Village in Destin.