Tresa Cox learned a lot about food and cooking and hospitality from being around her mother, Evergene Avent, at a young age.
Avent started out as a first cook and later took on the job as a second cook in the U.S. Air Force. Avent went on to work as a supervisor at Beale Air Force Base, which is located about 10 miles east of Marysville and Yuba City.
“My mom had been in both food and beverage all her life on base,” Cox said recently. “She just retired a couple of years ago.
“I think we got a love for cooking and being around food.”
Cox not only discovered a love for food and all the work that goes into cooking and preparing meals.
She discovered something else.
“I found a love for hospitality,” said Cox. “I love hospitality. People.
“I have a love for people and serving.”
Cox has been with Morton Golf LLC, working in the food and beverage department, for six years.
She is a server at MacKenzie’s Sports Bar and Grille, a restaurant that is located at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento.
Morton Golf Management oversees facilities and operations at Haggin Oaks, Bing Maloney Golf Complex, Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course, and William Land Golf Course.
Cox said she wakes up each day before her alarm ever goes off. She reports to her job 30 minutes early, to settle in and, if necessary, to take on any additional work in the restaurant.
She is always there to welcome guests and customers.
“I go to work every day 30 minutes early, no matter what, just in case they need me, for all the years I’ve been there,” said Cox. “I get up pretty early to get ready for work. I’ve always been 30 minutes early, just in case. It’s in my DNA.
“I go and say hi – ‘Hey fellas. Hey Gus. Hey Joel, how are the kids?’
“That’s how I am.”
It’s that very warm, personal, and friendly greeting, day by day, that Cox lives by.
“I know everybody by name. Everybody knows me, too,” said Cox.
“I really enjoy going to work. I’m happy there. It’s such a beautiful site.
“If it’s really busy and if they need me to start early, I’ll start early.”
Cox was with Acrobat Catering Company for about 13 years and worked events – such as banquets, weddings, and golf tournaments – at Haggin Oaks starting in 2008.
“I loved the golf course. I always went back to Haggin Oaks every weekend because Renee was requesting me,” said Cox.
The requests to work special events at Haggin Oaks came from Renee Gerstmayr, Food and Beverage Manager for the Morton Golf Management Team.
“She wanted me to come back and to do banquets. It was for Haggin Oaks because they didn’t have a catering team,” said Cox.
A few years later, Cox was contacted by Gerstmayr to become an employee at MacKenzie’s Sports Bar and Grille and joined Morton Golf LLC. MacKenzie’s Sports Bar and Grille, according to www.mackenziessportsbar.com, offers a casual dining experience indoors and out for family and friends looking to enjoy a good meal or grabbing a local craft brew on tap or something else from the full-service bar.
“The restaurant’s welcoming atmosphere features a menu anchored around a large selection of burgers, shareable appetizers, sandwiches, and salads, including a breakfast menu reminiscent of Sunday mornings surrounding the kitchen table. Daily house-made soups with a focus on using the highest quality and freshest ingredients, flavorful seasonal daily specials from proprietary recipes, and other hand-crafted menu selections abound in the kitchen. Guests will taste Chef Blanca and her culinary team’s attention to detail in every bite,” www.mackenziessportsbar.com points out.
“The outdoor patio overlooks famed golf course architect Alister MacKenzie’s designed course by the same name and is the perfect place to enjoy the views while also savoring your meal. Visit the bar for a hand-crafted cocktail, a glass of wine, or craft beer where you’ll find a wide selection of locally crafted brews on tap. Bring your putter and work on your short game at the adjacent practice putting green too. The Haggin Oaks Golf Complex provides a welcoming atmosphere that envelops all guests at the property.”
It’s a complex that features two golf courses, the Alister MacKenzie Golf Course and Arcade Creek Course; driving range with 100 hitting stalls, featuring Toptracer Range and raised target greens; Haggin Oaks Academy Holes; MacKenzie Putting Course; Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop; Player Performance Studio; Haggin Oaks Shoe Store; and Club Performance & Repair Center.
Every now and then, Cox will head over to the driving range, to get some swings in.
MacKenzie’s Sports Bar and Grille are open daily, in December, from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Breakfast is served daily until 11 a.m. The menu features the Par Buster Breakfast Sandwich, Three Egg Omelette, Golfer’s Special, Grande Breakfast Burrito, and Senior Breakfast.
The menu also features:
MacKenzie’s Signature Burgers & Sandwiches, Grille & Deli Favorites, Kid’s Meals, Appetizers, Salads & Soups, Seniors Menu, Dozen Street Tacos, Octoberfest German Sausage Plate, Foursome Nachos, Amen Corner Sharable Sub, 18 Wings & Veggies.
Tresa Cox was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
She has seen a lot of the world, as her step-father, Rufus Avent, was a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
The family moved a lot, spending time in London, Athens, Greece, and Turkey.
“We lived all over, as the Air Force had us traveling. We were blessed to be able to see places,” said Cox, who attended American academy schools.
She ran on the track and field team as a sprinter during her high school years, graduating in 1979 when she was in Athens.
*Marty James is a freelance writer who makes his home in Napa. He retired on June 4, 2019, after spending 40 years as a sports writer, sports editor, and executive sports editor for the Napa Valley Register, a daily newspaper in Napa County. He is a 1979 graduate of Sacramento State and a member of the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association. He was inducted into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2016