It all started In December 2019 with a cooler full of elderberry syrup at a local farmers market.
“We sold out of 24 bottles in about an hour,” said Dina Caballero, who, after much encouragement from family and friends, had decided to set up shop at the market.
As word got out, Dina began to expand the Organic Girly offerings. She added tonics and lemonades, fresh pressed juices, Fire Cider and Kefir Water.
In August 2020, a little less than a year later and in the middle of a pandemic that was forcing business closures left and right, Dina and her family crew opened a storefront selling OG products in Palm Bay. In January 2021, they began busting through walls at that facility to add the OG Café, anticipated to open end of March or early April.
The explosion of business came years after Dina first began crafting her beverages for family and friends.
“I wanted to focus on a healthier way of living and create foods that are good for your body and that taste good,” she said.
A former Air Force EMT nurse, Dina said she switched to pre-med studies from pre-law studies after learning a bit about food policy, and especially, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and engineered foods.
With an expanding family (there are four now, ranging in ages from 2 to 19), she knew she wanted to offer better options than what she was finding on the shelves at local grocery stores, so she went to work in the kitchen – engaging her children in the process – and learned about food safety, bottling, and flavoring. All Organic Girly products are organic and come from local farms where Dina is on a first name basis with the owners.
Dina’s products all taste good, but some of them have special wellness properties like the Fire Cider, designed to be added to salads as a dressing or taken daily as a shot. The drink contains the mother of the cider – purported to contain beneficial minerals and probiotics – and is fermented with horseradish to help regulate blood sugar and ward off food cravings. Local raw honey is added for a hint of sweetness. Though it sounds counterintuitive, Dina said a daily dose of the cider – which is also anti-viral and contains probiotics – can help with reflux and has helped her come off medication for the disorder.
Water Kefir is another healthful tonic made at the OG. According to Dina, the drink is packed with probiotics and beneficial bacteria, likened to a probiotic soda. The drink is made in a variety of low-sugar options using local organic produce and also made for kids as Propsicles.
The drink reportedly helps relieve constipation and helps with gut restoration and is helpful to the body’s immune system.
Since opening her store front in August, Dina said she’s seeing a steady stream of regulars as well as an increasing number of new clients who have learned about her by word of mouth or through visits to the farmers markets she attends monthly in Grant, bimonthly in Palm Bay and weekly at Wickham Park at the county’s farmer’s market.
She’s especially excited about the next phase, the OG Café, which will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in a cozy atmosphere emphasizing local, farm fresh and seasonal offerings. “We’ll have a flexible, changing menu that depends on what we can get fresh from local farmers,” she said.
There’s also plans for a raw juice bar and shelves filled with organic produce, local honey, raw milk and more.
Shawna Lucas (formerly Kelsch) has lived and worked in Brevard county for the past 20 years, serving in a variety of jobs and community service roles. She’s a former food and news reporter for Florida today, and was owner/operator of a marketing company that assisted clients and partners such as the Florida Healthcare Coalition, Blue Cross & Blue Shield Foundation for Florida, The Brevard Health Alliance, and Florida Tech to identify and solve pressing community health issues. She has she has dual bachelors degrees in Journalism and Sociology from the University of Miami, and was an inaugural fellow at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.