There’s Something About Mary’s

Written By: Marion Paul

It’s a summer tradition and a primary destination for many East End vacationers. The pastry department opens at 5am, and the irresistible aroma of freshly baked muffins and scones fills both tiny shops by 6am. By 6:30, the kitchen staff are well into preparing mouthwatering frittatas and Mary’s infamous Eggs Colombian wraps. Savory lunch fare, sandwiches, salads, organic fruits and freshly squeezed juices (Watermelon!) are also prepared for hungry beachgoers. At 6:45 the heady aroma of freshly brewing coffee wafts throughout the front of the house.

At 7am, when both shops open, the smoothie blenders begin to whir away creating healthy, heavenly concoctions, however the egg sandwich panini is the main event for most. The freshest eggs are prepared scrambled or fried, and offered on artisan breads, bagels, wraps or flaky, buttery croissants. Add your favorite cheese, veggies, meat and hot sauce and these egg sandwiches are truly something to behold.

Rich, dark, potent iced coffee is cold-brewed daily, and is in the highest demand in June, July and August. Frothy cappuccino’s, latte’s, mocha’s and espresso drinks served both hot and iced complete the java menu.

8:30am; Show Time! Hungry summer patrons pack each tiny shop to capacity, and often stand patiently in lines that spill out onto the sidewalks of both locations during summer weekends in anticipation of gastronomic delight.

Like people, each tiny shop has its own unique personality and vibe. The Amagansett shop (a little stunner) is quaint, cozy and comforting, like a visit to grandma’s house. The white façade, black and white striped awnings and big red hibiscus flowers robustly thriving in flower boxes in the front of the store are terribly appealing.

It’s hard to walk by the joint without being tempted to step inside. This little piece of heaven could easily pass for a pastry shop on Disneyworld’s Main Street!

The East Hampton location has a fresh, bright motif and is abuzz with a unique, modern energy all its own. Gleaming marble counters, crystal clear pastry cases, and the stark white and smoky gray color pallet in the front of the house creates a most inviting place to browse, order food, graze and chat. It’s mood-changing. Just step inside and you won’t be able to wipe the silly grin off your face.

Crowds of hungry patrons descend upon both tiny shops like a tsunami on summer weekends. The service staff, wearing brightly colored Mary’s Marvelous T-shirts, hats and bandanas bustle about behind the counters to fill orders, make smoothies and specialty coffee drinks. The real magic happens in the back of the house at both locations where the kitchen staff turn out the most incredible prepared foods, sandwiches, salads and soups all under the strict, discriminating oversight of the owner herself.

If this writing sounds like a highly flattering, partisan, one-sided review of this “Marvelous” business, well you are correct! After departing from a career in banking that spanned well over 25 years, I was looking for a bit more fun and adventure in my next occupation. My journey in life had landed me (quite literally) on Mary’s doorstep in 2013. Like many people who first lay eyes on the Amagansett shop located on Main Street, I was curious and intrigued about the place. I had to go in and see what this Mary’s Marvelous shop was all about. One thing led to another and within a few months of meeting Mary herself, I became the General Manager of both locations. And I LOVE IT. The only drawback for me is the couple of extra pounds I now need to drop, because unlike many of the health-conscious patrons, I am neither gluten-free nor vegan. Oh well, a small price to pay for having the wonderful opportunity to be a part of this incredibly gorgeous, dynamo of a business located in one of the most beautiful and desirable geographies in the country.

Now, about Mary. She is a very attractive and highly accomplished woman, however she tends to be a bit modest and does not like attention called to herself. I felt compelled however to write about my good luck and fortune for having landed an opportunity to be part of her wonderful business. I am also quite proud to tell people where I work and for whom! Aside from my very (I know, I know) partisan views, many people obviously agree with me; drive by either store on a Saturday morning around 8:30 or 9am and you’ll see what I mean.

Mary’s business has been hugely successful prior to my arrival here, and will most likely continue to be a huge success if and when I move on (not anytime soon!) I hope the readers of this piece understand that given my role in the business, I did not write this to flatter myself in any way. It is clearly not about me. It is merely my description of a genuine East End treasure that so many people have come to cherish and adore. Actually I believe I’m getting the better end of the deal here. Ha! Ha!

Ok, now for the sticky wicket. I entered two stories in Dan’s Papers 2016 writing contest. I shared one of them with Mary prior to submitting it. Needless to say, this was not the one she read. I am quite certain, given Mary’s humbleness and modesty, she would have nixed this one in an instant.

Mary is one of the most hard working, quality conscious business owners I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and working for. Mary can often be seen buzzing about in the front of her stores fixing this and arranging that, or puttering away in the pastry area (occasionally covered head to toe in flour). Ha! Ha! ALL her employees share my great admiration and respect for her.   We all adore her. She truly deserves this “at a girl”.

So, there’s an old saying that goes; “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission”, so I hit the send button. Forgive me Mary.

Oh, and Mary? She’s Marvelous!