Breaking Barriers at the Breakaway Cafe

Local, Seasonal Organic Ingredients to Highlight New Menu

Trexlertown, Pa. – Merging the fit and healthy lifestyle promoted by cycling with the tantalizing tastes of nature’s best ingredients, the Valley Preferred Cycling Center is partnering with Rodale Catering and Events to offer cycling fans a completely organic concession stand for the 2010 season.

Fans will still be able to enjoy their race-night favorites such as hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries and hot dogs, but they will be prepared from organic ingredients fresh from regional providers. In addition, the new menu will include an organic black bean burger, local pulled pork sliders, organic pizza by the slice, fair trade organic tea and coffee, and specialties like veggie wraps.

“We are a unique sports venue and our fans come here because they want something different. We are not a ballpark or arena. We are the best velodrome in North America,” said VPCC Executive Director Marty Nothstein. “We want their experience to be truly unique and memorable, something that can be enjoyed by everyone. We think bringing in Rodale Catering and Events to operate our Breakaway Cafe concession stand adds to that uniqueness in a way that builds on and enhances the track racing experience.”

Nothstein also announced that Michelob Ultra will be an official sponsor for the 2010 professional racing series and Allentown Beverage will provide the beer and wine for the concession stand.

Breakaway Cafe
(L to R) Michael Stershic, President of Discover Lehigh Valley; Heidi Rodale, Board Member, Rodale Inc and Vice Chair Velodrome Fund Board of Directors; Marty Nothstein, Executive Director, Valley Preferred Cycling Center; Leah Nichols, Director of Rodale Catering and Events; Jan Creedon, Director of General Services for Lehigh County.

Rodale Catering and Events will operate the Breakaway Cafe as an independent contractor with exclusive rights to food service at the facility, including catering for all sponsor events during the season. The velodrome also benefits through the costs savings of outsourcing the concession operations, Nothstein said.

The partnership with Rodale is a natural extension of the philosophies of Rodale Inc.  and the late Bob Rodale, who founded and built the Valley Preferred Cycling Center 35 years ago.

“We believe that the gold standard of food is organic and local,” said Heidi Rodale, Rodale Inc. Board Member and Vice Chairperson of the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. “Rodale is thrilled to provide organic, delicious food to a community that supports an active lifestyle.”

Leah Nichols, Director of Rodale Catering and Events, said the company has always been focused on improving the way Americans eat.

“Our focus is on organic, local seasonal food,” said Leah Nichols, Director of Rodale Catering and Events. “We’ve taken a new approach to concession food, trying to make familiar favorites that are handcrafted yet flavorful. Even our soft pretzels will be made from scratch with flour from wheat grown at our Rodale Institute.”

Fans can get their first taste of the new concessions on Saturday, May 8 when the VPCC hosts its annual Spring Flea Market, featuring dozens of vendors from throughout the East Coast, scores of individuals and groups selling new and used bikes and accessories and more than 3,000 cycling enthusiasts who come to the Flea Market every year for great deals on their seasonal cycling needs.

Nichols said the Breakaway Café will offer coffee, tea, hot chocolate and light breakfast and lunch items from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Valley Preferred Cycling Center is the nation’s foremost velodrome and the only one in North America to offer a full season of professional, Olympic-caliber competition through its World Series of Bicycling events every Friday night from June 18 through Aug. 27. In addition, the 24-7 Fitness Clubs Pro-Am Series on Tuesday night showcases the rising talent of riders from throughout the United States and other nations and often features the Friday night pros who frequently use the Pro-Am races for training.

The Valley Preferred Cycling Center will also host the 2010 USA Cycling Junior National Track Championships Presented by Rodale from July 8-11, featuring 150 of the best young riders and aspiring Olympians ages 11 to 18 from across the country.

Nothstein, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the match sprints, grew up in Trexlertown less than a mile from the internationally renowned race track and is a product of the great community programs such as the Air Products Developmental Cycling Program and what is now known as Red Robin Marty Nothstein Bicycle Racing League for youths ages 9 to 17.

The velodrome opened in 1975 and is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2010. Bob Rodale donated the facility to Lehigh County shortly after its construction and it is operated by the non-profit Velodrome Fund. As a county park, the track and the Bob Rodale Cycling and Fitness Park across the street are open to cyclists when not in use for training or racing.

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