Winter Park, the doors are about to open!
The long anticipated new 80,000 square feet Center for Health & Wellbeing, a partnership between the Winter Park Health Foundation and AdventHealth, is holding an open house tomorrow, Sunday, April 28, from 1 – 5.
Located adjacent to AdventHealth Winter Park, I recently got to tour the facility and check out all that makes this place truly unique and special. Designed as a facility to not simply aid those seeking to return to good health, but also to help Locals maintain it, there is no other facility in the nation bringing together this assortment of entities, all focused on keeping Locals going about their days feeling well.
Included in the mix of areas in The Center will be:
- Peggy & Phillips B. Crosby Wellness Center, featuring two pools and the latest in cardio and weight training equipment.
- An indoor walking track, open to the public.
- The Elinor + T.W. Miller Jr. Community Conference Center which will host community health and wellbeing education programs, as well as being open to private rentals.
- The BeWell Bar, featuring a health tech concierge and shop.
- Wellbeing Network Studio, the Center’s hub for capturing and producing difital content to share with the community.
- Special & primary care physician offices.
- Lap & pharmacy.
- Massage & acupuncture services
- Sports medicine and rehab
All of this, plus, two other areas to which I found I had already had a bit of a personal connection. As we took our media tour, for a bit we sat in The Center’s new Nourish Coffee Bar & Kitchen, which is next door to the Nutrition Theatre. As our hosts talked about these spaces, I realized I was already familiar with the woman to help oversee their day-to-day operations. Her name is Collette Haw.
In early 2018 I was asked to be a judge for the Winter Park Whole Food’s Healthy Tailgate Challenge event before that year’s Super Bowl. I found a number of Locals who are Facebook friends were among the competitors. Collette was among them. And the eventual winner by a mile!
The competition was fun and yummy for quite a few reasons. Among the elements making it fun was competitors had a short period of time – I believe it was 20 minutes – in which to buy all ingredients for their dishes inside Whole Foods. All cooking and eating took place in the parking lot out front. Collette made a burger. I cannot tell you what was in it, but I will share more than I did that day about what we judges thought about the edible contenders: Collette’s burger was the clear winner! It was truly DELICIOUS. While I took a bite or two of other dishes . . . . I finished off that whole burger.
So, having this experience not so long ago, and knowing Collette had operated a Local small business called Collette’s Clean Eats, focusing on eating healthy, she was a natural for such a competition and now to be the force behind Nourish Coffee Bar & Kitchen, the healthy eating component of the new Center.
“I am looking forward to every single aspect of this new effort!” she shares, excitedly. “I look forward to offering healthy, nutritional dense food to our local community! I am also excited to host cooking classes in the Nutrition Prep Theater to teach the community how to prepare healthy comfort food in their own home!”
What’s Nourish Coffee Bar & Kitchen going to be like to visit?
“I would like Nourish to be a place where the community can come together, share a meal, feel good about what they are eating, and feel good about where they are dining. We have a partnership with the Second Harvest Food bank and will have an internship program for their students to gain some real-life experience in the restaurant industry,” she says. “We have made relationships with the Local farmers for ingredients, and a Local company, Zion Farms, to plant our edible garden. My focus in this café is community and I will try to incorporate as much of it as I possibly can.”
While the Nourish space is directly left as you enter the new facility, next door is the Nutrition Theatre, which looks ready for Martha Stewart to settle in, give us a show. Only these shows will be offered by Collette and other Local professionals whose specialty is healthy, clean eating.
“The Nutrition Theatre will have guest chefs that will come in and teach people how to cook healthy nutritious recipes! There will be some classes that are open to the public and you will be able to sign up on the Center for Health and Wellbeing’s website and some will be private,” she continued. “We have the opportunity to broadcast the cooking demos throughout the building as well. And Growing Bolder will also be recording some of the cooking demos to post on the center’s website.”
Having participated just this past week in a healthy cooking demonstration in the 4Rivers headquarters kitchen on Park Avenue with Carly Paige from Fit Living Eats, I am admittedly more ready for this whole healthy eating thing than I have ever been. Which also makes me wonder a bit, how did Collette’s own devotion to healthy eating and her Collette’s Clean Eats business come about, leading to this cool new effort inside the Center for Health & Wellbeing?
“When I moved back to central Florida from Atlanta, where I was a personal chef,” she says, “I started cooking meals for my sister. She keeps very healthy and asked me if I could start making meals for her for dinner so all she had to do was heat them up when she got home from work. Ever since then it’s been a mission of mine to make comfort meals that are nutritionally dense, easily recognizable, and delicious.”
And then the Nourish connection? Another connection to 4Rivers, and its founder, John Rivers.
“Years ago John Rivers from 4Rivers Smokehouse found me on Instagram and contacted me about mentoring me,” she continued. “A few months into him mentoring me the Winter Park Health Foundation contacted him about being involved in this project and he invited me to that meeting. We met with his team, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Winter Park Health Foundation and the rest is history!”
And tomorrow, 1 – 5, a whole new future begins as the Center for Health & Wellbeing opens its doors to the public.