a.k.a. “Juice” the Dunedin Orange Honu in 0 collections
This year for The Honu’s 7th Anniversary Tiki Mug we decided to pay homage to our amazing town Dunedin, Florida and show some of our history in this handmade mug by John Mulder @Eekum Bookum made close by in St. Petersburg Florida. Every good tiki bar has a signature coconut mug, well, The Honu has an orange instead. Here is the history of that orange…
The history of the Dunedin Orange started when oranges trees filled the town. Dunedin's oranges are deeply rooted in the town's citrus packing history dating back to the 1880’s.
Much of Dunedin was covered in orange groves at the turn of the 20th Century. In 1883, two Wisconsin men met in Florida after moving to the area to pursue business opportunities. Lee Bronson Skinner and A.L. Duncan invested in Dunedin's orange groves. Ultimately, Skinner bought Duncan's grove and became the leading citrus producer in the industry.In 1945, L.B Skinner, one of the local industry’s champions, built the current facility after his previous operation was destroyed in a fire. But over the years, Dunedin’s groves were paved for urban development.
For years, orange juice containers sold at McDonald’s restaurants across the country came with the label “Made in Dunedin, FL.” When Coca-Cola Foods took over the plant in 1988 from H.P. Hood Inc., the conglomerate’s juice production continued the city’s citrus legacy, long after the groves that shaped Dunedin had disappeared.
On April 13th, 2009, Dunedin residents woke up to a pleasant surprise. The town had been mysteriously painted orange in the middle of the night! The murals replicated the logos on vintage orange crates.
It was soon revealed that local artists Steve Spathelf and Marsha Goins had stealthily painted oranges on storefronts around town in the wee hours of the morning. According to an interview Spathelf did with the City of Dunedin, the decision to paint oranges around town came to him after a change in the industry left him concerned about the future of his career.
Steven thought, 'Well I'll paint public murals' and I thought a good theme would be the old orange crate labels of which Dunedin is known for ... Everyone thought it was a good idea but no one wanted to pay for it, so I grew kind of frustrated and decided, 'Well I'm just gonna paint oranges in the middle of the night like they fell off a truck or something all over town.”
That night Spathelf, also known as "The Orange Guy," and Goins painted seven locations with the now infamous Dunedin oranges. People became infatuated with finding each one throughout the town, and it quickly gained media attention. Instead of getting in trouble for vandalizing private property, business owners began putting up signs requesting their very own orange murals!
Since that infamous night, Dunedin oranges have become a hot commodity and hundreds can be found around town. The Chamber of Commerce honored Spathelf's and Goins' act of rebellion by creating an organization to promote public art, which is funded by the town's annual Orange Festival.
Today, in addition to storefronts you can find these masterpieces on residential homes, postcards, t-shirts, and just about anywhere else you can think of! The Dunedin Orange has been a staple piece of artwork in our town. Today there are over 1000 Oranges painted throughout the town. After asking Steven while he was sitting here at The Honu eating dinner what his total number of oranges was he stated “After 1000 I stopped counting.”
We invite you to take a piece of our quaint town home with you…The mug features many items that represent the town and The Honu.
First, the obvious orange and the turtle that represents The Honu Restaurant and Bar. Plus, the feet on the turtle were made to represent beer hops. This signifies the 8 breweries located within the town. Even the oldest brewery in Florida is located in Dunedin, ‘The Dunedin Brewery.’ Finally, the turtle is wearing a lei which represents in Hawaiian culture friendship, love or to celebrate or honor someone. It symbolizes the spirit behind the aloha and the way this greeting draws you in and makes you feel welcome. We hope this mug can bring a little Aloha into everyone's lives and celebrate not only The Honu’s 7th Anniversary but the love for our town Dunedin and its amazing charm, culture and citizens.