June 6, 2024

The Toast Cafe, Formerly Rae Rae’s, Set to Open Monday in Fruitland Park

2.3 min read| Published On: June 6th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

The Toast Cafe, Formerly Rae Rae’s, Set to Open Monday in Fruitland Park

2.3 min read| Published On: June 6th, 2024|

The Toast Cafe in Fruitland Park, formerly known as Rae Rae’s, will open under new ownership and a new name. This new breakfast and lunch restaurant is owned by Chris and Leandrea Gentry of The Villages, and will open their doors on Monday morning, June 10.

(Leandrea on the left and Chris Gentry on the right are the new owners of The Toast Cafe. They look forward to serving you soon.)

Originally from Indiana, the couple operated the original Toast Cafe from the early 2000s until 2021 when they sold that business. The original Toast Cafe opened in 1954 and was synonymous with local Villages residents and snowbirds living in Indiana. The restaurant was popular and gained a reputation for the attention to detail that the Gentrys are known for.

(The Gentry’s sold the original Toast Cafe in Indiana in 2021. That location has actually been opened since 1954 under different owners. The Gentry’s owned it for 15 years before moving to The Villages a few years ago.)

(The Toast Cafe replaces Rae Rae’s, a highly popular restaurant which operated at this location for many years before shutting down operations in early 2023.)

“Leandrea and I have been working hard to get this opening done right,” Chris says. “A lot of work has gone into renovations. We can’t wait to welcome the community through our doors!”

(The newly renovated interior features bright colored walls and tables.)

“The Toast Cafe will offer breakfast and lunch items such as omelets, bacon and eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, salads, along with some delicious early bird specials as well,” Leandrea says. “We are open from Monday-Sunday 7am-2pm.”

The interior has also been refurbished. The Toast Cafe is brighter than Rae Rae’s and has a yellow interior that makes you feel like you’re waking up in the early Florida sun. New decorations make it feel farm-styled.

“That’s what we were going for,” Leandrea says. “We really wanted to brighten the place up but make you feel like you are in grandma’s home.”

(Some of the cuisine that will be offered. The Toast Cafe will also offer lunch options and will be opened Monday-Sunday from 7am-2pm.)

The Gentrys also own Gentry’s Vacuums in Lady Lake. Chris has been in the vacuum business for over 25 years along with nearly 20 years in the food industry. This new venture is very exciting for residents of the area who loved coming to Rae Rae’s. The old venue, owned by Tim and Christine Rohan, used to be packed before Covid-19. Unfortunately, the pandemic and other issues forced Rae Rae’s to shut down a few years ago before the Gentrys became the new owners last year.

(Leandrea left and Chris Gentry right are excited to open. The couple have put a lot of work into the former Rae Rae’s and look forward to serving customers.)

“We want people to know that we are not the same owners of Rae Rae’s,” Chris says. “This is a new ownership group, but we are just as committed to making sure you have a great experience when you walk through our doors.”

We hope that you come out and support this new local business.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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