More than a place to pick up beach items, Katama General is a beach bodega that has become an Island staple. Its iconic red barn style, which has been the gateway to South Beach for years, will be soon renovated for a more modern, yet still New England–inspired shopping experience. It’s tough to embrace change, and even tougher in such a small community. But Jackie and Doug Korrell have given it much thought, and since their No. 1 mission is to serve the community, they’ve been working on a design that will do just that.
Ever since I arrived on the Island six years ago, Katama General has been my go-to spot for discovering what’s new and exciting in the food world. The Korrells curate a store with a variety of impressive goods. They attend the Fancy Food Show, read current food blogs, and listen to friends’ recommendations, finding incredible products for the store. Jackie says she focuses on two main things: whether the product is healthy (meaning not too processed, although she makes exceptions for classic summer needs), and how the packaging will look on her shelves. Everything has to look good together, she told me on a recent visit, as she rearranged some shelves. It’s the end of summer, and Jackie, along with Barbara Welsh, who works on social media and other shop tasks, is always working on ways to improve.
Because there’s a diverse offering at Katama General, it feels like a bodega. Having grown up in the Dominican Republic, I’m familiar with bodegas, or colmados, as we call them. These are places where you can get everything and anything, whether it’s a bottle of wine or a sweet potato salad. Oh, that sweet potato salad! Sure, Katama General has plenty of prepared salads, sandwiches, and pizzas to satisfy the hungriest customers, but I keep coming back for their sweet potato salad, made with a honey dressing, cilantro, and red onion.
Another reason to check out the beach bodega is their cheese selection. It makes for a gorgeous cheese platter that’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Katama General will make a cheese platter for you through their catering services, but I love picking out my favorites. Grabbing some favorites is going to be even easier with their upcoming end-of-summer sale — it’s not to be missed. To get an invitation to the private sale, you can contact their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.