When Loaves and Fishes opened 12 years ago, the Bridgehampton, NY, community surrounding the store had just begun to buzz. Witnessing that growth gave Sybille van Kempen, co-owner, a chance to make more investments into the community, growing her property portfolio from just a gourmet store to a gourmet store, bed and breakfast and a restaurant.
And now, the timing couldn’t be better for her to make a big move.
In March, van Kempen will open a new version of Loaves and Fishes. While the new location will be slightly smaller than the original, she said excitement over the new store’s opening continues to grow.
“During our 12 years, we saw tremendous growth in the neighborhood and tremendous growth in the community,” said van Kempen. “The time was just right for us, so we built a new store from the ground up on our own [hotel]property.”
Creating what van Kempen refers to as a “compound,” the new store will be on the bottom level of a two-story building, while the top will house additional suites for the hotel.
“This is the first time there is retail space on this side of town, so this is a whole new experience for everyone,” she said. “Convincing the town was probably the biggest challenge, but they were great. They worked with us on our plans and we had to reconfigure some things, but they are all very excited and were very cooperative. Our customers are really excited to see the new place, too.”
And while the new store is exciting to everyone on the outside, van Kempen explained that she is enthusiastically combing through old product lines and is making room for new, fresh offerings to grace the shelves of the new place.
“We are changing out some of our older collections to make room for other things we have been dying to put in the store,” she explained. “We are going to have new, more modern things. Some handmade things from France that there won’t be a lot of out there in the market. We have a very interesting mix. Our customers are very destination-based and people come to us because they love what we have.”
In addition to a new location and new product mix, the store will also have later hours to coincide with the restaurant so that customers can shop while waiting for tables or after enjoying a glass of wine.
“We are just excited for everyone to come out and to see what we are doing,” noted van Kempen.
One initiative Loaves and Fishes will continue to do in the new store is offer a full shopping experience through FaceTime. This allows consumers to have an in-store experience without leaving their home.
“We walk them around the store as if they were standing right here next to us,” said van Kempen. “Our customers love the things that we carry that we want to offer them the rest of the year. It’s high visibility and instant contact,” she said.
The products purchased by her customers through the use of FaceTime are then shipped directly to their customers.