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Vol. 17 No. 36 - June 21, 2017

BUSINESS

Food and funky stuff at Ginny & Jane E's

LaPensee Plumbing Pools Air

LOUISE BOLGER | SUN

Paul Foster, Amanda Cunninghame-Graham and
Tammy Foster have embraced the Ginny and
Jane E's concept.

During one of my first visits to Anna Maria well over 20 years ago, I discovered the IGA food market on Gulf Drive in the heart of Anna Maria city. Even then it was like a step back in time to the IGA of my youth in the suburbs of New York City. I knew then as I know now that Anna Maria Island is a special place still being discovered by people from all over the world.

Tammy and Paul Foster sold their lumber and building supply business in Ontario, Canada, took a year off traveling around Florida and ultimately settled in Cape Coral. Since they were young and energetic, the prospect of sitting on a beach for the rest of their lives wasn't appealing, so they started looking for an unconventional business they would both enjoy operating.

A business broker pointed them in the direction of Anna Maria and to Ginny's & Jane E's at the Old IGA, which was for sale. They were quickly intrigued by both the concept of the business and the allure of the Island lifestyle. They came to terms with the owner, sold their home in Cape Coral, bought a new one in Holmes Beach and became new business owners. That was in October 2012.

Since then, the Fosters have maintained the original Ginny's & Jane E's concept created by the two sisters while adopting changes to accommodate today's local and Island visitors. For long time Ginny's & Jane E's patrons, you'll notice the expansion of the café seating area of up to 18 tables, some accommodating up to eight people, in addition to about eight outside tables. As usual, the café tables can be anything from an old desk to a large dining table with sharing encouraged.

The inventory items for sale have also changed with an emphasis on local art including work by Mr. Eddie"handmade jewelry, greeting and post cards and a collection of interesting funky stuff. You can pick up a T-shirt created by local artists and some beach supplies, but much of the tourist souvenirs and flea market items have been replaced by works of art.

And for those who remember Jane E's "I'll Bake If I Want To" bakery you'll be happy to know it's back. The Fosters are baking again using Jane E's homemade start from scratch recipes, including cinnamon rolls – one of her trademarks, sticky buns, muffins, scones, Danish, cookies and brownies. Their best seller, Key lime pie, as well as other seasonal pies and carrot and chocolate cake, are also on the menu.

Breakfast and lunch at Ginny's & Jane E's also has expanded with the addition of a grill. Their famous crème brulee French toast, a variety of omelets, pancakes and egg choices are all popular for breakfast. In addition, they can now offer burgers for lunch, grilled turkey Reuben, Philly cheese steak and grilled Cuban. The Fosters pride themselves on their high quality homemade food and point out they roast their own pork loins and turkeys. Coffee is still on the honor system, and they have a cooler with soft drinks, beer and wine.

Paul says his staff of 16 are dedicated and longtime employees. The Foster's daughter, Amanda Cunninghame-Graham, is the store manager and Morgan Lowe is the café manager. Tammy and Paul are hands on. Tammy is always searching for local artwork as well as keeping the books.

Ginny's & Jane E's has been a fixture in Anna Maria for 13 years, and the Fosters credit the sisters' original concept of Homemade Food With Really Friendly People for its success. Trip Advisor agrees placing the café in the number 2 position on Anna Maria Island.

Paul wants to thank the locals who support them year-round and the visitors, many of whom keep returning with three generations in tow. He says customer service is the key to any successful business, and the Fosters are committed to this concept. A café, a bakery, an eclectic shop – all with a dash of Island history – a special place on a special Island.

GINNY'S & JANE E'S

9807 Gulf Drive • Anna Maria

941-778-3170

Every day: 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

All major credit cards accepted


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