Lois Marks and Ethan Shapiro holiding Big Mama's Calamondin Vinaigrette in the grocery store aisle


Big Mama’s Calamondin Vinaigrette

Could this dressing possibly be the best in the world? You’ll have to try it yourself to discover why this locally-made dressing is flying off the shelves at Milam’s! Lois Marks, affectionately known as Big Mama, created this dressing using fresh ingredients from her backyard. After countless friends and family members encouraged her to bottle and sell it, her son, Ethan Shapiro, stepped in. Now, you can find this dressing in the produce department of our stores in Pinecrest, Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables (Douglas Rd. and Redbird) as well as in other local businesses in the area.


Calamondin, also known as Citrus microcarpa, is a small, round citrus fruit that packs a powerful punch of flavor. Resembling a tiny orange, calamondin is a unique hybrid of a kumquat and a mandarin orange. It’s indigenous to Southeast Asia and is cherished for its tangy, tart taste that carries hints of both citrusy brightness and a slightly bitter undertone.

This indigenous fruit is also found growing in Big Mama’s backyard! In fact, she uses her locally grown fruit as a staple ingredient in her dressing recipe.

Calamondin hanging on tree
hands cutting celery on a cutting board next to Big Mama's Citrus Calamondin Vinaigrette


Big Mama has over four decades of experience cultivating gardens and crafting culinary delights using the freshest ingredients. Her backyard in Miami boasts an array of lemon, lime, lychee, star fruit, and calamondin trees, along with a variety of herbs and greens.

In a quest to find a wholesome dressing free of preservatives, sugar, and cholesterol, she decided to use her backyard garden sanctuary as inspiration to craft what is now known as Big Mama’s Citrus Calamondin Vinaigrette. Her elixir is only 20 calories per serving, vegan, gluten, and dairy-free, with no added sugar or artificial flavors.

She taste-tested it with her grandchildren, so she knew it was good. After sharing it with her family and friends for 30 years, Ethan, her son, helped bottle her product and launch it locally in 2021. The bottles flew off the shelves, and in just two years, they have already sold over 5,000 bottles.


  • As a salad dressing – of course!
  • Marinade for fish, chicken, beef, shrimp, etc.
  • A dip for veggies – especially great for kids to get more vegetables in their diet.
  • A dip for stone crabs (found at Milam’s during stone crab season!)
  • On popcorn – another kid favorite.
  • On your favorite chicken or beef tacos.
  • Mix it with Greek yogurt for a heartier dip or topping.
  • Drizzle on a sub or use instead of mayonnaise.
  • With pasta or pizza.


Big Mama's Citrus Calamondin Vinaigrette with salad in background


Next time you shop at Milam’s in Pinecrest, Coconut Grove, or Coral Gables (Douglas Rd. and Redbird), grab a bottle of Big Mama’s and discover why our neighbors are raving about this local product.

When you support other local businesses, you help preserve the character and charm of our community and contribute directly to the economic growth of your neighbors. Local businesses know their customers and are deeply committed to ensuring your satisfaction with their products.

Support local and try Big Mama’s today!

Read Previous View All Read Next