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Grosse Pointe Shores

Shores officials mull possibilities for food service at Osius Park

February 12, 2014

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Osius Park users might be able to leave the coolers and lunch bags at home this summer.

City officials are hoping to be able to offer some sort of food service at the park during the summer — something a number of residents have been requesting for some time now. City Council member Robert Barrette, the council liaison to the Parks and Harbor Committee, said the city had contacted local nonprofit Full Circle — which offers career training and other programs for those with special needs — about possibly providing food service in the park. At press time, he said they were awaiting a formal proposal and response from Full Circle.

“They have a culinary program,” Barrette said. “Hopefully, that will work out very well (at the park).”

Other parks in the Grosse Pointes have concession stands or other types of food services. Historically, though, Osius Park hasn’t been able to do the same, lacking a facility for food service, since there’s no community building with a kitchen at the park. As a result, officials began investigating the possibility of a food truck or other mobile program that could bring at least a limited menu to hungry residents who don’t want to hop in their cars and head home for a meal after swimming or playing tennis.

A former Shores resident tried to offer a food-service program at the park in 2006, when she began serving and selling fresh food during the lunch period, including produce picked from her garden. Although many residents embraced the program, the park’s lack of a kitchen or even a refrigerator to keep items at a specific temperature led at least one resident to report it to the county health department, which promptly shut it down for not following commercial food preparation protocol.

City Manager Mark Wollenweber is excited about the prospect of food service at the park this summer and is hopeful something can be worked out.

“There’s the potential to maybe get federal training dollars that could be applied to Full Circle employees,” he said.

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