Our Special Little Slice of Paradise

Whether you’ve spent a day, a year, or a lifetime in Dunedin, one thing’s for sure: you’ve felt the magic of a connected community.

And we don’t just mean our walkable downtown core or the seamless transition from public art to picturesque architecture in our neighborhoods – we’re connected as friends and neighbors. We look out for one another, keeping each other apprised of local events and opportunities to get involved. In Dunedin, we recognize that community is a team sport, and we all succeed together.

Some of our staff, both new to Dunedin and longstanding community members, wanted to give their take on what makes this place so special!

Hear from Ellen Hale, Community Relations Director

“I love the diversity, and I don’t just mean having people from all walks of life – which does make our community vibrant. I love the diversity of things to do. Dunedin is a walkable community, which means all of our parks, shops, and events are accessible to residents and visitors.

It’s large enough to have options and small enough to be connected, without feeling like a tiny town. We have a great golf club, the Dunedin Blue Jays, lots of parks and playgrounds, and family events too. It has all of the action of a big city but it’s not so big that you get swallowed up.

One thing I love is the proximity to so many different activities. We have the beach on Honeymoon Island, beautiful public art, historic architecture, and new projects coming soon; there’s a lot going on, but during the pandemic, we really showed the resilience of a small town.

Ellen was recently named to the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors! She holds memberships with a number of civic organizations.

While we stayed socially distanced we kept in touch so nobody was isolated, and we supported each other’s businesses. I’ve lived here since my parents moved to Dunedin in the seventies, and it’s just so exciting to see how far we’ve come and where we’re headed!”

Hear from Ann, Café Hostess and September’s Staff Spotlight

Since moving from Ohio, Ann has totally embraced her adopted community – and they’ve embraced her. Out and about, folks stop her to ask about her day or to catch up since their last Café visit. In many ways, being a server at Café Alfresco is like being a Dunedin micro-celebrity. And being a micro-celebrity has its perks. “Once, a couple came in for the first time and we got to talking about the area,” Ann tells us, “I told them about Strachan’s down the street, and recommended the pistachio ice cream.” What happened next was incredible. After leaving a generous tip, the couple returned to the Café with an extra pistachio ice cream in hand!

Ann was totally shocked, and even more shocked when the same thing happened on their next visit! “It was so sweet, and totally unexpected,” Ann says, “I couldn’t help but smile for the rest of the day.”

Hear from Kaveh, Café Server and August’s Staff Spotlight

Kaveh is a cornerstone at Café Alfresco – so much so that we like to joke he came with the building! Since joining our team more than twenty years ago, Kaveh is a regular at the Café whether he’s working or not. When he’s working, Kaveh loves seeing all of his regulars from around town – the same folks he sees while he’s biking in his off-time. Kaveh enjoys the Pinellas Trail and can regularly be found biking 20 or 30 miles from Tarpon Springs down to Clearwater. In between, of course, he enjoys hanging out in Dunedin outside Café Alfresco, which is the most travelled segment of the entire trail. Make sure to say “hi” the next time you see Kaveh out and about!