On Monday, May 12, the up-Island oasis that’s evolving into as much an institution for Chilmark as Alley’s General Store has long been for West Tisbury opened its doors for the 2014 season.
With its famous porch rockers sanded and painted, The Chilmark General Store is ready for folks to kick back with a bag of provisions and a slice of pizza and watch the world go up and down State Road. Wife and husband owners Jennifer LoRusso and Joel Glickman have toiled through the winter making improvements to the store. For instance, patrons queuing up to order food will now be greeted by a handmade countertop pastry case, a refitted delicatessen case, and an array of new menu boards featuring new items and old favorites. Perhaps the king of those boards is the Island Grown pizza.
“Our Island Grown pizza is topped with vegetables grown here on the Island, mostly from our garden in Chilmark,” said Ms. LoRusso, “and it changes daily according to what is coming in from the garden. The toppings are often harvested in the morning and on a pizza within a few hours. We do a lot of white pizzas — without tomato sauce — that really focus on the earthy green vegetables. Some favorites are broccoli raab with green garlic in the spring and Sungold tomato with fresh basil and zucchini in the summer. This year we will be adding Island Grown chicken and pork as well.”
Other highlights of the menu boards include the popular Breakfast Burrito, the Up Island Vegan sandwich, and a submarine sandwich stuffed with meatballs house-made from Northeast Family Farms pork and beef.
On the merchandise and grocery side of the store, the shelves, racks, and coolers are packed from soup to nuts, literally. Shoppers will also find Wiffle balls and bats, Grey Barn milk, store-logoed coolers, island eggs, and produce from Morning Glory and North Tabor farms. To manage the produce throughout the store, Ms. LoRusso and Mr. Glickman have welcomed aboard Louise Petersiel of Chilmark Tavern fame.
However, the change likely to resonate from Menemsha to Manhattan isn’t a particular person or product but a service — one that’s practically unheard of up-Island. Cue snare drum:
“We will be introducing pizza delivery in late June a couple nights a week within about a five mile radius,” said Ms. LoRusso.
Cue brass band.