Just Fruits began as a small retail nursery in 1978, founded by Brandy Cowley-Gilbert & her father, affectionately known as “The Old Hippie.” At that time we were called “Just Fruits Nursery” and only consisted of edible plants. The motto was: “If you can’t eat it, we don’t need it!” During this time, we became known in the southeast for having a wide variety of edible plants & the knowledge to go with them. In the late 90’s, the Just Fruits team decided to expand and bring along a wide variety of ornamental and landscaping plants. This included some very outrageous and unusual varieties that eventually led to the new name, “Just Fruits and Exotics” in 2007. We encourage all of our customers to not just landscape their yards with ornamentals, but “Fruitscape” instead, mixing edibles and ornamentals to make their own edible garden!
As Just Fruits continued to grow, we became not only a nursery for the southeast, but one for all across the US. In 1999 we opened our first website for mail-order sales, where we package and ship our plants in containers with the same quality customers see here in Crawfordville, FL. The online store was created not just for shipping plants, but also to provide more educational information for our customers.
In 2015, after building a family owned and operated nursery that helps customers grow the gardens and orchards of their dreams, Brandy and her husband Ted were ready to retire. However, they were determined to pass on the nursery to another family. One that would share the same values & continue to grow the nursery in a way that is best for gardeners of all generations. Unfortunately, they struggled to find a buyer that didn’t want to develop the land or change the business.
It wasn’t until 2017, after multiple years of searching, that they met two Brothers-in-law, Michael & Jamake, who were visiting the plant nursery on a quest for Blueberry Bushes. After learning that the Nursery was for sale, Michael and Jamake joked and dreamed about the day when Jamake could quit his job and the two could own and run the nursery together. They finally decided to dig a little deeper by calling a friend who happened to be the business broker assisting with the sale. Before they knew it, Jamake was quitting his job, Michael was studying the finances, and the Davino/Robinson Family was becoming the new owners of Just Fruits and Exotics. With Jamake Robinson managing the growing field and retail nursery, his wife Marlee managing customer relations, Michael Davino managing the business end of the nursery, and his wife Kyle running the social media accounts, it truly is a family run business! Jamake and Michael’s parents even came out of retirement to take on various large roles at the Nursery.
Ted and Brandy continue to be regular visitors and consultants at Just Fruits. Also, many of the nursery’s original employees stayed on board with the new ownership team, and have been an integral part to a seamless transition.
Jamake Robinson is a Leon County native who grew up with a passion for gardening and growing fruit trees. He manages the growing field and retail nursery.
Marlee Robinson has a background in environmental planning and a deep appreciation and curiosity for all aspects of the natural world. She is most often found chasing their two young sons, Bodhi & Breeze, around the fruit trees.
Michael Davino manages the business side of the nursery, while also owning another business in the financial industry.
Kyle Davino is a former elementary school teacher. Her and Michael’s young son, Micah and baby girl, Norah can be found marketing the nursery by popping up in many photos shared with our customers.
The Just Fruits Family hopes to continue to build the Just Fruits legacy for all gardeners to enjoy!