It was love at first sight
tom vaught | sun
Tammy and Paul Foster don't plan any big changes
after purchasing Ginny and Jane E's in Anna Maria,
the popular consignment store, cafe and coffee shop.
ANNA MARIA – There is an adage going around: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Paul and Tammy Foster took that adage to heart when they started looking for a business to occupy their time and pay the bills, and they almost lost an opportunity to own Ginny and Jane E’s.
The couple hails from Cobourg, Ontario, just outside Toronto, and they owned a retail business there, but the lure of Florida called them here.
While living in Canada, they came to Florida almost every year with their son and daughter in their recreational vehicle. They stayed at Holiday Cove in Cortez and fell in love with Anna Maria Island. Finally, they sold their construction supply business in Cobourg, came down here and found a broker to take them around and look at the businesses on the market. Their first stop was the popular consignment store and eatery on the corner of Gulf Drive and Magnolia Avenue.
“We liked it, but we didn’t want to buy the first thing we saw,” Paul Foster said. “We looked at other properties, and six months later, we returned and decided to buy it.”
Ginny and Jane E’s began as a small grocery store owned by then-Anna Maria Mayor Ernie Cagnina. After he died, the family shut down the store and sold it.
It became a consignment store, and then the owners opened the back counter to serve food, and it is now a part of the Island lore – a quirky consignment store/diner/coffee shop where customers can order breakfast or lunch, plop down in a comfortable chair and surf the Internet via WiFi.
“I told my family about it and they looked it up on the Internet, and I said you won’t believe it,” said Tammy Foster.
The Fosters liked what they saw and their current plans call for keeping it the way it is. Connie Wolgast will still bake delicacies from recipes developed by Jane E., who previously ran the food outlet. Other employees will remain, and the menu will likely stay the same with minor tweaks.
Now that they have a vital business in paradise, they are looking for a home.
“We sold our home at the end of October so we’re looking,” Tammy said.
And if they fall in love with the first house they see, they just might want to take it, even if their instincts say no, it’s too good to be true.