February 1, 2017
When Bexley, a Newland Communities development in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, opened in November, it introduced a feature that is hard to find in any other master-planned community in Pasco County – a full-service café. In fact, Bexley’s The Twisted Sprocket Café represents a new trend in community living that is just recently becoming popular throughout the country.
“If they have anything at all, most community clubhouses have a beverage station or a gift shop with chips and tchotchkes,” said Rizzetta & Company’s Ashley Davis, Café and Clubhouse Manager at Bexley. “People walk into our clubhouse and they’re surprised to see a café like this.”
The Twisted Sprocket Café’s full-service kitchen offers breakfast and lunch options all day, including fresh pastries, omelets, flatbreads, sandwiches, salads, ice cream, smoothies and more, all made fresh. The café also serves wine and beer, including a Twisted Sprocket signature brew crafted by Pasco County’s Big Storm Brewery. The café also partners with local Buddy Brew Coffee for coffee and teas.
Currently, the café offers counter service. Guests can pick up orders to go or enjoy them while sitting at the bar, in the lakeside clubhouse or on the patio.
“We’ve gotten a great response so far,” said Davis. “Beyond our residents, we’re getting a lot of traffic from neighboring communities, who are telling us they don’t have anything like this where they live. People are finding out they can have a wine or beer and a flatbread and sit on the lake, and it’s exciting for them.”
On its busiest day to date, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the café had a line of people waiting and served more than 40 orders.
Davis said a full-service café like the one in Bexley offers a few major benefits to the community:
1. Bringing together residents and neighbors “Typically, residents might stop into a clubhouse just to ask the manager a question or to rent out space,” said Davis. “But here, people will come in to eat and hang out. And, we’ll eventually get a lot more business when our bike trails and bike shop right next to the clubhouse are open. It will be a great social gathering spot.”
2. Better and easier events “It’s a lot easier to host community events when you have full kitchen for food preparation,” said Davis. “And, we’re able to host better events when we can offer more robust food options. For example, we’re doing a Date Night event with nice appetizers, wine and live music. It just opens up more possibilities for events.”
3. Appeals to prospective residents “Someone from David Weekley, one of the homebuilders in the community, came in the other day to say thank you because the café sold the home for her,” said Davis. “She said the buyer loved the café. It’s a huge selling point.
4. Convenience for busy families “For families who don’t have time to cook a meal, being able to place an order at the café for pick-up can be a huge time-saver,” said Davis. “They can call the café, tell us when they want it ready, pick it up and take it home.”
The Twisted Sprocket Café is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Rizzetta Amenity Services manages the café as part of Bexley’s Homeowners Association amenity program. Davis, an assistant manager, clubhouse attendant, café attendants and a maintenance person currently run The Twisted Sprocket and other amenities in the community. The team will eventually hire additional staff as the community continues to grow.
The Twisted Sprocket Café owes much of its success to Davis, whose experience in both community management and the culinary industry make her particularly well suited for her role. Prior to joining Rizzetta’s Amenity Services at Wilderness Lake Preserve – her position immediately prior to her current role – she worked for Share Our Strength in Washington D.C., helping to raise $22 million for the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry campaign. She has also produced several large-scale events and has worked with local and celebrity chefs like John Rivers, Chris Lily, Guy Fieri and Robert Irvine at Food Network in Concert and at the Food Network and Cooking Channel South Beach Food and Wine Festival.
Rizzetta & Company’s Amenity Services team is dedicated to engaging residents and helping to create a quality lifestyle in their communities. Even if your CDD or HOA is managed by a different management firm, Rizzetta’s Amenity Services team is available to help run your community’s amenity program – please don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help.