Fruitland Park inks deal with local caterer to service new library’s café

Fruitland Park commissioners gave their blessings Thursday night for a local catering company to provide food and beverages at a café inside the city’s new library.

K&M Creative Catering LLC will operate the Gardenia Café inside the facility, which is located at 604 W. Berckman St. and is scheduled to open on July 19. The Gardenia Hotel once stood on the site where the library is located and the name of the café pays tribute to that piece of the city’s history.

The new Fruitland Park Library, which is scheduled to open July 19, pays tribute to the city’s history with a historic windmill and flooring and windows from the old Casino Community Building.

Under the agreement, K&M, which is based in Fruitland Park at 2468 U.S. Hwy. 27/441, Suite 103, will provide food and non-alcoholic beverages for library patrons, staff and others in the café. The facility will occupy about 515 square feet of the 11,000-square-foot building. And it’s designed to attract customers “who want to relax and enjoy coffee, tea, soft drinks or a snack.”

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. And the caterer has agreed to pay 10 percent of its net sales to the Friends of the Fruitland Park Library on a monthly basis.

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.

In addition to the name of the café, the new $3 million library pays homage to Fruitland Park’s history in several ways. A large windmill that once powered the city’s water system towers over the facility. 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.