Island Pantry opens with bakery and grocery selections
It took just one minute for the first customer to patronise Bermuda’s newest supermarket.
Island Pantry bakery and grocery opened on Wednesday at 7am on Serpentine Road in Pembroke.
The 1,500-square-foot outlet is owned by Take Five Ltd, the operators of Devil’s Isle and Village Pantry restaurants and Buzz cafés.
Holger Eiselt, managing director and CEO, and co-CEO Jason Berwick, are running the operation with the support of three full-time staff members and two part-time employees, with Mr Eiselt adding “that number will grow”.
He said the first customer arrived on Wednesday “at 7.01” with Mr Berwick confirming that a purchase of bread was made.
Freshly-baked bread and pastries are among the many offerings at Island Pantry, which also sells Devil’s Isle locally-roasted coffee, fresh produce, a diverse selection of wines – including biodynamic and organic wines from a US supplier – and craft beers, as well as beef, bison and chicken, and more including “healthy food options” in keeping with Take Five’s philosophy, Mr Eiselt said.
Mr Berwick said opening the supermarket “has a lot to do with the products we make, and the philosophy we have, and bringing them together into one house”.
Island Pantry mills the flour for its selection of breads, which Mr Berwick said are ready between 5.30am and 6am daily in time for the 7am opening.
He added: “The sourdough pretzels that we have are flying out the door. We also have fresh bagels with sourdough. A lot of the different bread selections we have you would struggle to find anywhere else in Bermuda – not freshly made like this.”
Mr Eiselt added: “We have also been importing our own wine for a while for our restaurants, and there was demand from our clientele to buy our wines for at-home.
“We didn’t have an outlet to make that happen but now people can sample those wines at home. And the selection is greater than in our restaurants.”
A variety of craft beers from small breweries in British Columbia is on offer, Mr Berwick said, with award-winning Austrian and German craft beers to arrive soon.
Mr Eiselt encouraged local farmers to contact Island Pantry in order to become suppliers for the new market.
He said: “We want to engage with local farmers. If they grow unique produce, even if not in high volume, we would love to be the one to put it on our shelves and sell it to our customers.”
Mr Berwick said Island Pantry’s overseas suppliers include Eden Foods, an organic food company in Michigan, and Maine-based specialty food producer, Stonewall Kitchen.
The new market also displays and sells home coffee equipment, and has a licensed technician on staff to service currently-owned equipment. The outlet also sells coffee equipment to commercial operators.
Island Pantry is open seven days a week from 7am until 7pm, but Mr Eiselt said once the Covid-19 curfew is relaxed, they would like to stay open later.
He added that an online store will go live soon, offering kerbside pick-up, with a delivery option to be added “eventually”.
The reaction from patrons who have visited the new supermarket has been very positive, Mr Berwick said.
He added: “People say ‘wow, awesome, oh my God I can get sourdough bread, I feel at home in this shop’.”
Mr Eiselt credited Shelley Ray, senior interior designer at L & S Design Ltd, for providing “the final touches of design” for Island Pantry.
Island Pantry is at 5 Serpentine Road in Pembroke, next to Island Glass. See www.islandpantry.bm, or call the shop on 542-4400.