Restaurant of the Month

The Green Turtle

Culinary innovation and premier service has been the cornerstone of this locally owned and operated business since its foundation in 2000 by Proprietor Tim Dwight and Partner/Executive Chef Ercan Ekinci.

We at Beachside Media are proud to announce the good people of The Green Turtle will also be partnering with us for this year’s Easter Egg Hunt, April 20th, at Lori Wilson Park. Participants can expect to discover, in their search, a variety of treats and gift certificates stuffed into each and every candy-colored egg. More details to come. Meanwhile…

An interview with the esteemed Chef Ercan Ekinci

How did you come up with the concept for your restaurant/gourmet deli?

Going back about 19 years ago, we wanted to put something together such as a nice local gourmet store that offered local seafood, artisan meats, boutique wines, and an upscale deli with an environment that people can come together in to find a high quality product that is well displayed, presented, and well prepared. We wanted to join with local vendors to get locally sourced products that give our place a sense of networking right here in Brevard County. We outsource many of our products right in our area, from smoke houses, to fresh seafood, to sauces and dips. For instance, Mangrove Island is a local business that started off as one item and grew into multiple product lines. Many of which we still use today. The products we use are what helps makes us so unique and special.

We take pride in our jobs and our sommeliers spend all day trying to select only the finest wines from around the world: from Chile to California, from Argentina to old world wines from Spain and Italy. We also select many handcrafted cheeses from around the world to compliment our cuisine. For instance, we are suppliers of Cypress Grove, which is a unique vendor that brings only the best in domestic and imported cheeses to compliment our menus perfectly. We also work with our various farmers to receive our fresh meat products. Deep roots farms and Piedmontese produce all grass fed hormone, antibiotic free beef that we sell in our market and use in our café. Brasstown beef is another company used in our restaurant from the Blue Ridge Mountains that creates distinction in what we serve.

We are always in search of what is new, exciting, and healthy and we try to bring the best out of those combinations to the table. We try to support those who have supported us for the last 19 years while always welcoming the newest products and trends. We never stop searching for the latest and greatest to constantly keep improving our tastes and quality while keeping our customers excited and happy. We have lots of new plans for this year to constantly improve on what we have to offer here. One plan we are excited about is expanding our organic produce line, our organic grocery items, and possibly introducing a selection of dry aged meats.

Tell us about some of your offerings.

Our Extensive experience as a premier gourmet market, restaurant, and catering source ensures seasonally inspired menus that utilize the freshest ingredients – all prepared to perfection. Green Turtle is segmented in many sections; we have a retail/market side, our café/restaurant, and our full scale catering operations. We offer a wide variety of hand picked wines, fresh cut seafood, artisan meats, prepared salads and entrees, deli and charcuterie, and a bakery with a large fine chocolate selection. We offer a unique grocery department and an extensive cheese selection as well. Our wonderful restaurant/café operates 7 days a week with a casual, high quality feel and use of only the freshest ingredients from fresh cut seafood to grass fed beef to farm to table fresh vegetables and salads. We also offer a brunch addition on Sundays with specials that change every week. In our café we do a lot of private events, team dinners, wine tastings, & wine dinners multiple times a month. Our full service catering company has an impeccable reputation for specializing in corporate events, executive luncheons, sales meetings, client appreciation events, grand openings, employee celebrations, holiday parties, weddings, and much more.

How long did it take you to perfect it? How long have you been in business?

It took us 19 years to prove the concept here, set up our product line, and establish protocol works for my daily needs here and that never stops improving. I have had many dedicated employees along the way that make sure we get this operation done with only the highest quality. Everyday we strive for perfection and everyday is started with the highest ambitions. We encourage new ideas to accomplish our day-to-day operations and make it even better than the one before. Every day is a fresh start to make what we offer even bigger and better. Attention to detail and consistency is what we take pride in and that makes us who we are. We have a very dedicated staff: from the cashiers to the servers, from the caterers to the chefs in the kitchen and the people behind the line. We all serve our customers with high energy and attention to every aspect of what we do. We have changed a lot over the years and have found out what needs to be improved and how we can do so. I listen to the customers’ feedback as well and as a good businessman, I will always be open to new ideas to help expand and improve what we do. We have a huge basis of followers all the way up in Titusville, to way down in Vero Beach; people know the green turtle brand.

What inspired you to open up a restaurant/gourmet deli?

As a young chef I was always thinking of colorful foods and exotic flavor combinations, and now, 19 years later, this is still one of my driving forces. I have always loved food. It always has been and remains my passion today. They say if you love what you do you don’t have to truly work one day in your life because you love every aspect of your job. This is my calling and I do love every aspect of this business, from my restaurant to my kitchen, from my catering, to my retail. We roughly prepare about 250,000 meals a year and it’s not a small operation. There are so many key factors involved in making this just right. We can be in four different places in one night and have the same quality and satisfaction no matter what type of execution is necessary. This only inspires me to go further and do more with this business.

Which dish, recipe, service, or offering are you most proud of? Which is one of the most popular items/amenities?

Well we have some favorites here from each segment of this business. For instance, in the café we have our fresh steamed succulent Maine lobster roll. It is hard to find good lobster like what they have in Maine and I realized this was one of my key ingredients to success for this particular plate. I use only live Maine lobster for my recipe and since I created this it has been a super star in our restaurant because of the fresh wild caught ingredients. Another one is our salad trio that includes our house recipe Asian chicken salad, our hearty albacore tuna salad, and our fresh dill shrimp salad. Other popular items are our certified Angus burgers and our fresh catch of the day, which changes constantly as we receive fresh deliveries from different vendors each and every day here. There is nothing like our fresh wild caught seafood fillets paired with chefs special sauces to compliment them. Tuna poke is also one of our newest additions that have hit the ground running with its exquisite taste and fresh nature. In our entrees section we do many styles of prepared salmon dishes that fly off the shelf. One of the most requested is our sesame soy ginger salmon. In the salad department we have a variety of favorites from our fresh shrimp and calamari ceviche to the more traditional staple of our beachside potato salad. Off our catering menu our petite Maryland style crab cakes are well known, especially when paired with our signature blend remoulade or stone ground mustard sauces. We also offer bacon wrapped meatballs stuffed with gorgonzola, 7 different sliders (including our angus beef sliders with caramelized onions & gruyere), ahi tuna spoons, and our baked goat cheese cups with cinnamon roasted apple compote that have all proven to be above the rest.

Tell us what sets your store apart from the rest?

By far, our attention to detail and customer service set us apart. We have an outstanding team that works together to expertly expedite your catering needs from the expert planners to the servers executing the event itself. We put the same amount of pride into any event, from weddings, to corporate events, to private events. Our operations are flawless because of the teamwork and amazing work ethic.

What is your favorite perk of doing what you do?

The perks are the best part; I am a very lucky person in this aspect. When it comes to this I am so grateful for the people I meet in this industry, from my employees to my customers. These people get more of my time than my family does and it keeps my world ever expanding. I get to travel all over to find new products and new vendors while I get to taste new sensations directly from the source. I get to go to trade shows and meet with new people that help keep my business constantly changing and evolving. I get to sample the wines to pair with my wonderful cuisine, and when it comes to seafood, meat, cheese, etc. I get to try everything first hand so I can make sure I am only selling the very best. Even with my caviar case I was able to try each and every one before I displayed it out for my customers to enjoy. That way I can properly pair these items and give the customers correct descriptions.

What are some of the amenities or services you provide?

We have lots to offer here at the Green Turtle Market; such as a retail gourmet market, an attached 50 seat fine cuisine restaurant, and a catering company that does it all from personalized one person meals to a 1,000 person banquets. All of these amenities are blanketed under one amazing concept. We have perfected a proven concept that works for all of our events, no matter how big or how small. Our crew is well experienced and can handle different types of events with different difficulty levels and all resulting in the same satisfaction.

The deli-style atmosphere offers visitors better service, an inviting decor and plenty of upscale dining options for those interested in gourmet offerings. Make your way there and stop by to see what all the buzz is all about. 855 E Eau Gallie Blvd, Satellite Beach, FL 32937 | greenturtlemarket.com

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