Lakelands Snack Bar Moves Forward

Lifeguards, lounge chairs and lap lanes were all in place for the summer pool season at Lakelands, but instead of finding a snack bar open for treats, community residents have had to bring their own.

It now appears Bryan Gerber and Adam Malakoff, owners of Para Dice Shaved Ice have gotten the green light to operate the Lakelands pool snack bar.

In a Lakelands board of directors vote held June 14, the board voted in favor of the shaved ice owners become the snack bar operators, according to board member Albert Leacock. At press time, Gerber was still working on obtaining the necessary liability insurance and contract ratification.

Last year CMI, the community’s management company, ran the snack bar, hiring clubhouse monitors to run it, but did not charge the community for that oversight. It was open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Paul Lumsden, chairman of the Lakelands pool committee, said his committee had wanted the board to require CMI to run it again this year, keeping it open for more hours.

Lumsden said when requested to run the snack bar again with the expanded hours, CMI officials said the company would charge a rate for the inventory pickup, accounting and other hours related to snack bar oversight.

Lakelands board members voted against a snack bar contract with CMI. The pool committee then installed a vending machine in the snack bar area to provide refreshments to swimmers.

That left the treat shack coming into the heart of the summer pool season with its doors still shut.

A Lakelands family, a group of clubhouse monitors, and the owners of Para Dice Shaved Ice, all tossed their names in the ring to run the snack bar, according to Lumsden. That committee interviewed all three groups and recommended the shaved ice company owners as operators to the Lakelands Community Association’s board of directors. Board members agreed unanimously.

“A pool this size deserves an operating snack bar,” Lumsden said.

It is unclear at press time when the snack bar will open for business, what hours it will be open and what it will serve.

At the Kentlands pool the management company is in charge of snack bar operations. In 2009 that snack bar generated about $12,000 and cost a bit more than that to supply and staff, according to Anita Parks, activities director for the Kentlands Citizens’ Assembly (KCA). A federal minimum wage increase in July 2009 impacted the cost to run the snack bar. In 2008, the snack bar covered its costs.

“The idea is we authorize money to be spent on the snack bar, but we expect sales to break even. We had to work towards that, but yes, we were neutral last year,” said Adrienne Gillen, president of the KCA.

The Kentlands snack bar has a full kitchen including a sink, freezer and refrigerator. It is open daily when school is out for the summer from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers a variety of candy and cold beverages as well as hot items such as pizza and corn dogs.

Running the snack bar has been a learning experience, Gillen said. Over the years the Kentlands snack bar has adjusted the variety of foods to offer less warm items. The biggest seller is single serve pizzas prepared in the snack bar microwave, according to Parks. Sour Punch Straws and popsicles are also favorites. Healthy foods are the poorest selling items, although Parks said they “keep limited quantities available in an effort to keep all of our patrons happy.”

Pool snack bars do require a food service permit from the Montgomery County, said Lumsden.