Heathrow, FL - Considering the fact that I work remotely and spend most of my time at different locations to work and sip a nice cup of coffee, I'm surprised I haven't visited this place sooner.
This week's feature is Cozee Cafe, located in Colonial Town Park.
They have a full menu offering of Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch, and Dinner entrees.
Manager, Candace, was nice enough to give me a little history of Cozee Cafe and the changes they made to enhance their customer's visit. And it shows.
Their staff is extremely friendly, and quick to provide you their WiFi password. I find it great that they secure their access. This helps people using their service two ways. First you have enhanced security. Second, you have greater bandwidth since you aren't sharing that connection with 50 other users.
A quick check of wireless routers nearby showed I had a total of 15 options within range. Makes sense since we are only feet away from other restaurants and businesses.
The desserts look incredible. They offer true Artisan Style Gelato, a range of coffee options, and a pretty potent cappuccino I tried that had me focused within minutes.
The music isn't too loud inside either. A big issue for some who are easily annoyed with ambient noise.
If you like the smell of fresh air, they have a great patio outside and their Baristas are quick to bring your order outside for you. Since it's right on the corner of the plaza, in front of the AmStar Movie Theater, you have plenty of good people watching to do while you write that novel you've been working on for years.
Do you like board games? Bring some friends and have fun with one of their several board games they don't mind you playing. They have Life, Operation, and a few others. Feel free to bring your own if you want.
Below are pictures of the menu. Click on the image to enlarge.
Be sure to stop by and tell them Steve from InfoSack.com sent you.
1145 Townpark Avenue
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Since I work remotely 90% of the time, I figured I would share my impression of places I frequent for their WiFi and noms, Panera and Bojangle's.
Panera is a staple in the entrepreneur world. Anyone and everyone who works for themselves, ends up at a Panera eventually. Good food, good coffee, great sandwiches and soups, and free WiFi.
However, since not all Paneras are made the same, we wanted to showcase three we use frequently for meetings and such.
Sanford Location: This location is situated just a few hundred from the Sanford Super Target, in a mini strip-mall corner location. The outside patio seating is unique in the sense that you are facing the parking lot and it does wrap around the corner. There are no outlets outside, and only 4 available outlets inside. The service here is always top notch and I've never had an issue using Wi-Fi, nor any bandwidth issues.
Lake Mary/Heathrow: This location is located on the corner of Lake Mary Blvd and International Parkway. There are 6 power outlet locations that I could find, however this one is frequently jam packed. So you have to time yourself right or make sure your battery is topped off before leaving the house. The service here is typical, and I've had two issues with their WiFi, having to ask the manager to reset the router. :
Lake Mary Blvd: Oddly, this location has the least outlets, and worst seating arrangement of all three, yet I seem to prefer it over all. Could it be it's proximity to my gym? I don't know. With only 3 outlet locations I could locate, and a very busy atmosphere, it's rear access is great if you just intend on using WiFi for the day without purchasing anything. Plus you can use the bathroom without worrying about your stuff getting stolen. Although the same could be said for all three locations, as they are located in mostly crime-free areas.
Moving onto Bojangle's Chicken and Biscuits. You are probably wondering how this place could possibly be a hub for entrepreneurs. Can't blame you.
First off, their food is delicious! Second, they have power outlets within reach of nearly every seat or booth in the house. Third, their WiFi is ultra fast and VPN friendly. I have no problems signing into my company's corporate VPN at this location. Unlike Panera, where their firewall blocks access to several remote access sites I use. Pretty lame if you ask me.
Bojangle's also has the best service of any 'fast food' restaurant I've ever been in. Everyone there is kind, courteous, helpful, patient when I'm indecisive, and friendly! If my order is delayed, I get a free size upgrade. If I'm there for a few hours, a sweet older woman comes by and gets me a refill, even though I tell her she didn't have to.
Bojangle's business model is something all fast food joints could learn from. Promote positive customer service and get repeat clients like me. I may only spend $5 each time I go, but with service like that, I'll be there three times a week for lunch and WiFi and bring friends.
It's crazy how reliant people like me are on WiFi at places we dine and drink. If you're like me and your work travels with you, you know this to be a deciding factor in places you choose to spend time thinking, reading, and writing. So here's a list of just a few places I enjoy working from, their amenities, and where to find outlets when you're running low on battery power.Deltona - Deltona Library is an obvious first choice because you have power outlets everywhere and great WiFi bandwidth. The only drawback is their firewall. It's very secure so if you happen to manage content driven websites with advertisements, you won't get to see the proof after you've finished hours of coding unless you use the 3g service on your phone to view the full version of the website. This however, is not a limiting factor as the pluses outweigh the minuses.
Including the awesome Scrub Jay Cafe.Orange City
- Half Off Books is a great place to get work done, abuse free WiFi, and have access to multipe power outlets. They are located among the windows facing Enterprise Blvd and are easily spotted once you make your way toward the seating area. The staff is awesome, the coffee is great, and you can get a ton done there, without spending a ton of gas looking for a similar location.Another surprisingly great location is the Denny's on Saxon. They have great bandwidth on their WiFi, Sanford - The new IHOP on S.R. 46, where the old Hop's used to be. Unlike the IHOP in Debary, this location has free WiFi and their bandwidth is exceptional. Since the location is new, it still smells fresh and the food is awesome as always. If you are running low on battery power, there is an outlet right next to the booth all the way in the back, towards the left. You'll see it on the wall next to another white outlet cover. Lake Mary -
Lake Mary has a myriad of nerd-friendly locations so I'll only mention a few.
- First, is Panera near Heathrow. This location has your typical Wi-Fi verification sequence and they have several tables towards the inside wall that have power outlets. So you'll see a ton of students and entrepreneurs working out of this particular location.
- Panera on the east side of Lake Mary Blvd is also a great location. However they are enemic on power outlets. So far, I've only discovered two places to plug up. One is near the rest-rooms in the back and the other is in the private room in the back near one of the booths. Up front, there are more outlets in the booths near the windows, however, I have yet to get there on a day when someone isn't occupying those like a hawk.
- World of Beer is surprisingly a great place to bring your laptop, your thirst for a beer, and your appetite. They now service wings and fries and they are pretty damn good. The beer is cold and the selection is incredible. Best of all, there's 2 outlets hidden under the booths along the wall going towards the restroom so you an watch football, have a beer, wings, power your laptop and cellphone, and get a ton of work done. Or get some work done and a nice buzz going. It's your choice.
If you have other suggestions, please comment with them as I'd love to add them to the list. Thanks!
Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Everything Bagel
Deltona is one of Florida's biggest neighborhoods. A never-ending barrage of various sized homes, it has been dubbed "Spaghettiville" due to the lack of road continuity.Developer Jim Mackle, was obviously a masochist. Engineering a town under the influence is not an accusation I think many could deny.
But one of the gems of this town, is the Scrub Jay Cafe. Located within the Deltona Library, this place has quite an interesting mix of offerings.
Fresh Bagel King bagels of all varieties. Breakfast is available all day. There's even a rack of "day old" bagels & danishes that would blow shelf bagels out of the water.
They also offer a nice selection of pastries like Danishes, cookies, etc.
Here's where it gets interesting. They have Empanadas! Good ones too.
The empanda is the Hispanic culture's greeting card to the community. People from every culture love a good Empanada. And for $1.50, you can have yourself one of three freshly made flavors. They make them daily. In fact, the manager is bringing in three pans of them as I type!
Now, my weakness is their Everything Bagel with Sausage, Egg, and Cheese. The picture above is of the actual bagel. It's huge. If you're with a friend, you can split it and still be full. I swear this thing is a monster. Easily, the best $4 you'll spend in the area.
Plus, Scrub Jay Cafe offers a great beverage selection of soda, coffee, tee, and juices.
Four tables are within reach of electrical outlets if your laptop battery is tanked. And you have access to the library's wi-fi.
If you get stuck in a mental rut, pack your bag and go for a walk over to the Scrub Jay Museum. Tons of useless information you'll pepper your spouse with someday years from now can be found on the walls.
If that's not enough, you can take a walk on the new trail built behind the library. It's extensive and if you're a bird watcher, you'll have a great time. Or hang out at the Amphitheater and relax. But only for a minute, then get back to work!