Fruitland Park to consider agreement with local caterer for new library’s café

Fruitland Park commissioners will hear a proposal Thursday night for a local catering company to provide services for a café inside the city’s new library.

Commissioners will be asked to approve a resolution appointing K&M Creative Catering LLC to operate the Gardenia Café inside the facility, which is located at 604 W. Berckman St. and is scheduled to open on July 19. K&M is based in Fruitland Park at 2468 U.S. Hwy. 27/441, Suite 103, and has agreed to pay 10 percent of its net sales to the Friends of the Fruitland Park Library on a monthly basis.

Fruitland Park commissioners will consider a proposal to allow K&M Creative Catering to provide food and beverage services inside the city’s new library during its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday night at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Under the agreement, K&M will provide food and non-alcoholic beverages for library patrons, staff and others in the café, which takes up about 515 square feet of the 11,000-square-foot building. The area is designed to attract customers “who want to relax and enjoy coffee, tea, soft drinks or a snack.”

K&M agrees to provide coffee and beverages that are “moderately priced” Monday through Saturday, with hours of operation to be determined. The caterer is allowed to sell prepackaged food. And only small appliance preparation (hot plate, slow cooker, panini/sandwich press), coffee brewing and reheating is permitted on site, the agreement reads.

K&M will prepare foods that require a deep fryer, grill and/or commercial exhaust off site. Foods available for purchase in the library will require minimal warming and/or preparation on site. And customers will be able to take their purchases inside the library.

K&M also will be given the opportunity to cater to groups using the library’s community spaces. And those services will be provided for on-site activities, as requested, after normal operating hours.

The lease with K&M is for $3,600 annually – $300 monthly – and runs through Sept. 30, 2020. K&M is required to give the city written notice to extend the agreement, in one-year-increments, no later than 120 days prior to the end of the term.

K&M filed for articles of organization as a Florida Limited Liability Company this past Jan. 3. Katherine Weaver is listed as the catering company’s registered agent with the Florida Division of Corporations, also known as sunbiz.org. And both Weaver and Michelle Tackling are listed as authorized personnel with the business.

The new $3 million library is paying homage to Fruitland Park’s history in several ways. A large windmill that once powered the city’s water system towers over the facility. The Gardenia Café is named for the Gardenia Hotel that once sat on the same site. And the foyer of the coastal-themed building is dedicated to the old Casino Community Building and contains original oak floors and windows from the historic structure that also once stood on the same site.

The Fruitland Park Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. Thursday night. It will be held in the commission’s chambers at city hall, located at 506 Berckman St.