Cafe to open in Freestone Recreation Center - East Valley Tribune: News

Cafe to open in Freestone Recreation Center

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Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 3:47 pm | Updated: 1:09 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

On-the-go Gilbert residents at the Freestone Recreation Center can eliminate one more thing from their list of errands - making dinner.

Chris and Joy Klein plan to roll out a menu of healthy eats and handmade fruit smoothies when they open a small eatery at the center on Saturday called The Well Being Cafe.

"Joy came up with that one," Klein said, referring to the shop's name.

Other menu options will include coffee, tea, soft pretzels and salads.

The cafe will be an alternative to the usual grab-and-go type of foods that busy people rely on, Klein said.

"I'm just not a vending machine kind of guy," he said.

Klein, an artist who works with glass, said he came up with the idea for a cafe after seeing an empty space at Freestone.

"I always see that space and think, 'Man, why don't they have anything here,'" he said. The Kleins were considering starting a business for a while, so after dropping about $8,000 dollars for some new equipment from Craigslist.com that included a freezer, refrigerator and preparation table, the couple made their dream come true.

Mike Leppert, the center's senior recreation coordinator, said he's had requests from patrons for a smoothie shop or café, "so this is definitely going to be meeting their needs."

Other than the relatively low startup costs, Klein added that he and his wife also saw the lucrative potential in the amount of foot traffic the recreation center produces.

"They have anywhere between 900 and 1,200 people every day," he said. "I just thought that was a captive audience right there."

Well Being has a grand opening planned for Saturday.

The Freestone Recreation Center is at 1141 E. Guadalupe Road, between Lindsay Road and Val Vista Drive on the south side of the street.

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