Funky and fun at Ginny & Jane E's
SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Bert Schaefer and Jeff Levey have kept
the funkiness at Ginny's and Jane E's,
and expanded the menu.
If someday you're stepping off the Island trolley and happen to see the sign for Ginny's and Jane E's at The Old IGA, don't expect to find milk and Campbell's Soup on the other side of the front door. What you will find is one of Anna Maria's historic destinations and an anchor of the community.
Two years ago when Bert Schaefer and Jeff Levey purchased Ginny's & Jane E's Bakery Café and Island Coastal Store on Gulf Drive in Anna Maria, they had no idea how important Anna Maria would be in their lives. Relocating from the east coast of Florida, the long time Florida residents were winding down from stressful business careers and were looking to spend some quality and leisure time. The no bells and whistles atmosphere of the Island and of Ginny's & Jane E's was just what they were looking for. It didn't take long for them to fall completely in love, especially with the large wonderful group of regulars and visitors they meet each and every day.
Schaefer and Levey recognized the uniqueness of Ginny's and Jane E's combining a café and bakery with antiques and treasures all with an Island flair, and have retained most of the same look with some additions. Their inventory is constantly changing, one day you may find a crystal chandelier and the next Haitian metal drum art. They carry a large collection of jewelry and prints from local artists, coastal furniture, T-shirts, glitter baseball hats, accent dishes, funky signs, shells, mermaids and too much to list.
But the one thing that has changed in the last two years is the expanded menu, especially for breakfast. Since Jeff Levey likes a lot of variety in his breakfast choices, he made sure to offer that same choice to his customers. You can order three-egg omelets, egg sandwich and Eggwich as well as Belgium waffles and crème brule French toast to die for and more.
Lunch has a large selection of sandwiches including corned beef rubin and BLTs and daily specials. There's always fresh ground flavored coffee, salads and smoothies. Ginny's & Jane E's fresh baked goodies include muffins, breads, scones, cupcakes and key lime pie for starters. Schaefer and Levey have just started offering pizza and shortly plan on expending the varieties available. Anything on the menu can be prepared to go.
They have just added a sidewalk café with eight tables, so you can watch the passing parade while sipping your morning coffee, or grab a seat at one of the inside tables and chat with your friends. Ginny's & Jane E's also has WiFi and Internet for out of town visitors and locals alike. And if you need a piano to practice your concerto on, you're welcome to stop by and keep the folks entertained on the one in the shop.
According to some of the recent articles in Coastal Living, the New York Times and Southern Living, Ginny's & Jane E's has become as much of a "must see" on Anna Maria as the beaches and the piers. But if you ask Bert Schaefer what makes it so special, she'll probably say "it's too hard to explain; just come in." Vintage, funky, beachy and food, It's sure not your mother's IGA.
Ginny's & Jane E's Bakery Café and Island Coastal Store
9807 Gulf Drive,
Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All major credit cards accepted