(A while back I stopped in. Here is my report)
For the last 32 years Anna Pump has been paying attention to all the details at her specialty food shop Loaves and Fishes located east of Route 27 on Sagg Main in Bridgehampton. When you walk into the one story white building you can’t help but smell as the freshly baked breads and look into the very clean and orderly counter displays of chesses, salami’s, and salads. Not to mention the baked sweets. Usually either helping someone or standing nearby by is owner Anna Pump. Anna who says, “You have to love what you are doing to be successful,” has always been supervising the cooking at Loaves and Fishes to insure that her customers get the same constant high quality foods day in and day out. Even though she insists she buys only the best quality ingredients her foods are priced fairly, actually excellent for the quality. Her personal goal is that of any caring cook, a big smile by the consumer after taking that first taste.
Long famous for their fresh and tasty lobster salad and curried chicken salad Anna has no intentions of selling Loaves and Fishes. Her daughter Sybille Van Kempen is actively helping her daily and as she says, “When I am stuck for help I call in the troops!” The troops are her granddaughter and grandson. It is this kind of family tradition that makes Loaves and Fishes successful.
Anna Pump personally supervises the weekly menu which can be ascertained on her website www.loavesandfishescookshop.com. You can call her at the shop by dialing 631-537-0555 to see what she has planned or what she can do for your food needs. The hours of the shop change from the summer season, opened every day of the week except Tuesday to the fall and spring where the shop is only opened on Fridays through Saturdays 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. It closes from New Year's Eve until Easter weekend.
Since she bought the bake shop 32 years ago from Susan Costner and Devin Fredricks, Anna has believed in consistent hours. She explained, “Before I owned it the shop it would close down when it ran out of food, sometimes before 3 p.m. Now we never run out and stay open until closing time.” In fact the only time the usual hours were not met was during the hurricane of 1992, Anna recalls, “It was August 19, 1992, we were closed for five days.”
Otherwise it has been the same schedule for the last 32 years. The shop does close down from New Years Eve until Easter Sunday and during that time Anna escapes down to Naples, Florida where she does a lot of exercise walking to keep her very fit healthy look. Born in Germany near the Danish border Anna Pump has always had the desire to cook. Although she has never cooked as a chef professionally she studied cooking with legends such as James Beard. In fact she has four books on cooking published; Loaves and Fishes Cook Book, leading the pack not to mention, Summer on a Plate, from Simon and Schuster. She is proud of these books and she is proud of her success because she always wanted, “To have one of these shops! I am not ready to retire and won’t be for a long time to come. What else would I do? Because I love doing this.” So what is her secret for everything tasting so great? All she says with the slightest of smiles is, “Our food is the real thing, real butter, real cream, real eggs, we buy the best quality available of any the products that we use.” She believes she owes her “loyal clientele” a certain consistency.
A visit to the back and you can see the loyal staff at work. Most have been employed by Anna for 15 years and know what she demands. There is a lot of silent nodding of approval. There is the quiet directives of a confident woman who trust her staff and there is the obedience of a staff that respects there boss because of her dignified style of treating all of them as her team. Her office is meticulous and she seems to notice every small detail. She knows her customers and what they want. It is part of a service and courtesy of another era. Loaves and Fishes is a place where the customer is served with respect.
It’s not surrounded by other shops it is perhaps off the beaten trail but one thing it is, is genuine. Anna Pump is proud of her shop. It is her dream, it is her reality, and it is there for the enjoyment of all those wise enough to be her customers.