The new Fulton County YMCA was designed to offer all the amenities, but as of today it adds perhaps the one attraction it lacked: a cafe.
After a two-year search for the appropriate operator, YMCA officials gave the concession to Anna Maria Porco, owner of the Route 30 Mayfield bakery and catering service, Anna Maria’s Biscotti Co.
Porco was visibly excited Thursday afternoon as she prepared for today’s 6 a.m. opening.
“They will have very satisfying baked goods,” she said, referring to the 7,400 members and thousands of area residents who are also welcome to stop by.
“I enjoy it; they’re all my recipes,” she said, emphasizing that the cafe will offer only healthy foods and provide options for gluten- and sugar-free munching.
While the menu will start with biscotti, muffins, oatmeal items, smoothies, yogurt parfaits, juices and gluten-free options, Porco said she will be introducing lunch items, including salads and sandwiches.
She is serving Lone Palm Organic Gourmet Coffee, which she said is the best coffee she’s ever encountered.
“All of my menu items are made with natural ingredients and focus on portion control and healthy eating,” Porco said in a YMCA news release announcing the opening. She said items served will coincide with customers’ goals to live healthier lifestyles.
The Mayfield resident said she comes from a large Long Island restaurant and catering family.
YMCA Vice President of Marketing and Memberships Lisa McCoy said YMCA officials have been looking for a cafe proprietor for two years. She said there have been a few candidates in that time, but Porco is the right fit.
“It’s something our members have been asking for,” McCoy said.
A cafe serving healthy food, she said, is not only a service to the members after their workouts but offers an opportunity for socialization.
She said the socialization is particularly enjoyed by the senior members.
Non-members are welcome to patronize the cafe, McCoy said, and she pointed out the YMCA offers wireless internet service. “Use your laptop and have something to eat,” she said by way of invitation to the community.
Porco said it is just her luck that a major snowstorm was predicted for her opening.
“How do you like that?” she said.