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SCENE & SEEN

Katama General Store
Reborn and Re-Imagined

By Amelia Smith

About the only thing that could improve a perfect day at South Beach is the perfect beach picnic lunch. That answer for beach gourmets is on the way–at the Katama General Store on the Katama Road, strategically placed as the last stop before hitting South Beach in Edgartown.

The Katama General Store morphed from a small, traditional seasonal conven-ience retailer into a modern store focusing on food, gifts and unique house wares.

When Jackie and Doug Korell took over management of the Katama General Store 15 years ago, they knew that eventually they were going to have to rebuild. The original store was built as a laundromat in the 1950s. Later, it became Vineyard Farm and Feed, owned by Richard Steigelman. His daughter started selling sandwiches and groceries in the summers, and that’s how the Katama General Store got started.

Not only is it the last stop before the beach, it’s a convenient place for people in Katama to pick up supplies. The new building opened last summer. It centers on a tall, open-ceilinged retail space with a full commercial kitchen in back and a wrap-around porch and picnic tables out front.

“We wanted it to be a place where people could stop and hang out,” Jackie says. Even before the store re-opened, people would stop to sit on its new front porch, enjoying the picnic tables and Adirondack rockers in the shade. Now, the kitchen provides sandwiches and other prepared foods, including regular offerings of Indian food, including samosas and South Asian inspired takes on western dishes, like the Rangeela pizza.

The store still carries blocks of ice, s’mores kits, and other beach necessities. “Our business has grown by responding to what people are looking for,” Jackie says. With the new air-conditioned building, they’re now stocking more, can stock produce, wine and beer, and a bigger selection of Katama–and Vineyard-themed merchandise–including some exclusive gift items, like a Martha’s Vineyard shaped tray and Island Home drinking glasses.

Although it’s a seasonal enterprise, staying open into the fall, this year the store will be open for long weekends at Thanksgiving and Christmas in Edgartown.

Katama General Store, 170 Katama Road, Edgartown, 508-627-5071