Axum Market Café and Y Teaching Kitchen Reflect Y’s Emphasis on Healthy Living at Dr. P. Phillips YMCA

In expanding its mission to serve, the newly transformed Y offers  everything people need to lead healthier, more balanced lives within and beyond the four walls of the Y.  

Orlando, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida has announced the opening of the Axum Market Café at the new Dr. P. Phillips YMCA, which has undergone a $9.5 million transformation, funded through Dr. Phillips Charities, to strengthen our community. Operated by the Winter Garden based Axum Coffee, the café is offering farm-to-table meals, fresh-pressed juices and healthy snacks as part of the Y’s larger focus on improving healthy living. “With the unveiling of the new Dr. P. Phillips Y, café and teaching kitchen, we’re challenging the community to think about integrative health and wellness – and the Y – in entirely new ways,” said Dan Wilcox, YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO. The transformation is due, in part, he said to changing health care trends focused on keeping people healthy rather than dealing with acute and debilitating conditions down the road. “For more than 130 years, the Y has been helping people lead healthier lives in Spirit, Mind and Body,” Wilcox said. “As one of the most innovative, forward-thinking Ys in the nation, the new Dr. P. Phillips Y takes this commitment to a new level and provides a model for how other Y associations will improve community health.” Wilcox said the new café, teaching kitchen and other amenities reflect the Y’s purposeful design and strategic objective to empower our community for good. With a goal to make healthy living easier, people will find everything they need – from healthy food and personalized fitness to physician referrals and medically based programs – within and beyond the four walls of the Y. Gary Appelsies, a professional chef, nutritionist and the YMCA’s Director of Healthy Eating said the new café will offer seasonally changing menus that feature fresh, sustainable food sourced through local growers and USDA certified organic farms. “Just like the Y, food brings people together,” Appelsies said. “It’s also a way to help the body heal, maintain a healthy weight and avoid chronic disease. The new café provides a great place to gather after a Zumba class or soccer game to enjoy delicious food that helps you regenerate, recharge and feel great.” With a motto ‘Everything Your Body Needs, And Nothing It Doesn’t,’ the café also reflects a shared mission between the Y and Axum to improve lives and communities. According Renaut van der Riet, Axum founder and lead pastor of Mosaic Church in Oakland, FL, 100% of net proceeds will benefit local and global initiatives around social justice, food, clean water and family health. “Axum Market Café is about more than enjoying delicious, healthful food,” van der Riet said. “It’s also a place where people can join around a cause, a purpose, a way to improve their lives and the lives of others.” Adjacent to the café is the Y’s new Healthy Living Teaching Kitchen where local chefs and nutritionists will demonstrate how to enjoy healthier meals at home and on the go. Specialized, small-group classes will also be offered through the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, Livestrong at the Y for cancer survivors, Healthy Weight and Your Child and the Y’s other medically based programs. “Every new personalized feature, program and resource at the Dr. P. Phillips Y is about impact and turning the tide on chronic disease,” said John Cardone, YMCA Senior Vice President of Health Strategies and Business Development. “With nearly half of all Americans suffering from at least one chronic, yet preventable, disease, the Y’s medically based programs, partnerships and innovative facilities are designed to improve community health in big and small ways.” Axum Market Café’s opening coincides with the official unveiling of the new Dr. P. Phillips YMCA in early November. At 51,000 sq. ft., the newly expanded and renovated Y has nearly doubled its size, impact and capacity to serve growing needs within the Dr. Phillips community. Improvements include the latest in fitness technology, an expanded wellness floor, the largest group exercise room in Orlando, new locker rooms and family changing rooms, an interactive child development center, teen center and community gathering spaces. Orlando Health, the exclusive provider of health and wellness programs at five area Ys, has expanded its presence through a concierge desk where Y members can schedule physician referrals, health screenings, clinical rehabilitation and more. The two-year expansion of the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA was funded through an $8 million gift from Dr. Phillips Charities and the generosity of other community donors. Over the past 30-plus years, the Y of Central Florida has received more than $43.6 million in funding from Dr. Phillips Charities, enabling the association to grow, innovate and become one of the most progressive Healthy Living Ys in the nation. About YMCA of Central Florida For over 130 years, the YMCA of Central Florida has focused on strengthening communities through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Operating 27 YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties, the Y is on a mission to improve the lives of all in Central Florida by connecting individuals, families and communities with opportunities based on Christian values that strengthen Spirit, Mind and Body.  As one of the area’s largest non-profits, the Y serves over 400,000 Central Floridians per year and employs 1,800 Y staff who join together with thousands of donors, volunteers and advocates to empower our community for good. To join the cause or learn more, visit About Dr. Phillips Charities The Dr. Phillips name has been a major economic and philanthropic presence in the Central Florida community since the turn of the 20th century. Dr. Phillips Charities honors the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to the motto "to help others help themselves." The organization has been a leader in shaping the nonprofit sector by designing innovative programs to solve community problems, investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and granting funds to expand services to meet the needs of a growing central Florida population. Dr. Phillips Charities has an ongoing commitment to support organizations in the Dr. Phillips community located in southwest Orange County where the Phillips family had substantial investments during their life time. Income produced from a portfolio of rental properties and other investments funds Dr. Phillips Charities’ grantmaking. About Axum Market Cafe Axum Market Cafe exists to inspire people and generate resources to restore hope in hard places. Axum Market Cafe was founded by Renaut van der Riet, who is the lead pastor of Mosaic Community Church in Oakland, Fla. The cafe is named after the small village in Ethiopia where Mosaic does missionary work and was started to raise money for that community. In Axum, residents don’t have access to fresh water or adequate medical care, and many orphans and beggars live on the streets. Axum Market Cafe opened its first location in downtown, Winter Garden in 2010 and has since expanded to include a roastery right down the street, as well as a community cafe at the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA. Axum Market Cafe donates 100 percent of its net proceeds to local and global initiatives around social justice, food, clean water and family health. For more information, please visit