A Sustainable Café in a Recycled Building, on a Pioneering Green Development, is a Global Example of How to Embrace the Past to Welcome the Future

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The 98-year-old cottage named the Rosedale has been renovated with state of the art sustainable technology to create one of Florida's most sustainable cafés.

We are working with every supplier, to take out plastic, take out additives, bring in organic, bring in natural foods because the whole thing has to work. We want a complete picture here and for me that’s the big challenge now, to make it seamlessly green

Take a run-down 98-year-old cottage called the Rosedale; add state of the art sustainable technologies including solar thermal panels, geothermal cooling and heating systems and high performance water equipment and you have the foundations for one of the most sustainable Cafe’s in Florida.
The Village Café at Rosedale launched this week on Anna Maria Island and is the first business to open on the Historic Green Village, an exciting sustainable development and Florida’s first LEED Platinum1 and Zero Net Energy2 Retail Park: Watch online: http://www.youtube.com/user/AMGreenVillage?feature=mhum

But it’s not just the recycling of the building itself and the use of the wide range of technologies that demonstrate how sustainable this development is. The Village Café is striving to work toward a greener menu, introducing organic and additive free choices and working closely with suppliers to minimize the use of plastic and other packaging.

Owner and developer of the Historic Green Village3 and The Village Café, Lizzie Thrasher says; “Can we run a successful business here that is completely and utterly green? We have this great building, fabulous technology, zero energy, but we don’t have the right things in the café yet. We are working with every supplier, to take out plastic, take out additives, bring in organic, bring in natural foods because the whole thing has to work. We want a complete picture here and for me that’s the big challenge now, to make it seamless…seamlessly green.”

The Rosedale Cottage building, which is now the Village Café at Rosedale stands proudly in its new environment and has been painted in low-emitting paints, sealants and solvents in a coastal mauve, reflecting its colorful history on the Island.

A notable early resident on Anna Maria Island was Captain Mitch Davis. As well as becoming the first and one of the most admired mayors of Anna Maria, holding office for over 4 years from 1925, Mitch built the Rosedale Cottage and the Roser Church (across the street). Both buildings using the same moulded concrete blocks that were shipped in from Tampa. Mitch was also responsible for many other buildings on the Island, including the icehouse, the Anglers Lodge, and the City Jail!

The cottage was built for George W. Bean, son of George Emerson Bean, the first settler on the Island who came to Anna Maria in 1892. George W founded Anna Maria City, and with a number of high profile associates created the Anna Maria Beach Company. From 1910 they surveyed, laid out streets and sidewalks and built houses. Colorful brochures pictured deep-flowing wells with a combined capacity of more than two million gallons daily of pure artesian water. They built a dock, the same city pier, which attracts fisherman and tourists today at the end of Pine Avenue. Large steamers would bring supplies, mail and visitors to the Island.

In the early 40s the J. Hartley Blackburn family lived in the house, which then became lovingly known as Cozy Corner. Betty and Hartley were schoolteachers and active trustees of the church. They taught Sunday school and when classes become too large, they moved the children to the front porch of Cozy Corner. Their daughter Betty Lou Blackburn Huth recalls happy times in Cozy Corner. "We bought the house after Gulf waters washed away the land under our house on Magnolia Avenue," she said. "Cozy Corner was a wonderful place to grow up. We had a horse paddock in the back and would ride horses to the beach and let them swim in the Gulf. Mother and I would even ride them to school! “

In 1951 Norman and Kay Rosedale moved into Cozy Corner, which is when it become known as the Rosedale Cottage. "When we purchased the house it was in deplorable condition," Kay recalled. "After a complete renovation it still maintained the old look." Norman Rosedale was an Island builder and Kay played the piano at Roser Church and for Island organizations. They had one son, Dick.

This remarkable building now shares its history; through information and photographs showcased inside the Café. A large deck area, within beautiful landscaped gardens, local artists work displayed throughout the Café, and a delicious freshly prepared menu of salads, hot and cold sandwiches, including the popular ‘Rosedale’, made with turkey, cheese, fresh apple slices and fig jam, and a mouthwatering breakfast selection, The Village Café at Rosedale is already establishing itself as a must stop visit for tourists and residents alike.

The Café is open from 7am to 4pm, every day of the week. It will also soon host special community events on Friday’s and Saturdays between 6pm-9pm.

For further information, please contact Zoe Keech, Marketing Manager of the Green Village, at zoe(at)pineapplefish(dot)com

1.    LEED means Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a rating system with certification for “green” buildings developed by the Green Building Environmental Council of the United States (USGBC) and provides certain environmental standards for construction.

2.    Being Zero Net Energy, means the Green Village, will generate more energy on-site than it will consume in a given year.

3.    The Historic Green Village is a collection of new and old buildings, compassionately restored, and powered completely by renewable energy, to create Florida’s first LEED Platinum and Zero Net Energy retail park. The Green Village covers 6 lots on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria City and when completed, will contain 7 commercial buildings and 2 vacation rental units. The goal is to showcase the best in sustainable design and state of the art technologies while maintaining the unique charm of the Island’s historic seaside community.


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