“It needed some serious love.” That’s how owner Terri Martini describes the state of her Scituate Harbor business when she first bought it in 2009. “I was a single mom in a tough economy and I took a leap of faith,” she says. Two years later, Terri’s love, food industry savvy and lots of elbow grease have transformed what is now Front Street Gourmet.
Front Street Gourmet isn’t only a caterer, a wine shop, or a deli – it’s a little bit of each and something more. One of Terri’s customers explained it best saying, “I don’t just shop here, I have an experience [here].” Watching folks come in and out this afternoon to make their purchases, I see what she meant. The shop’s expansive front counter accommodates the cash register, generous samples of nuts, chocolates and sundry nibbles, stools and eating space to enjoy freshly made panini and sandwiches, and merchandise displays with room to spare. But it’s not the straightforward transactions that have helped Front Street blossom. Terri likens her counter to a bar, and herself and other staff members to bartenders. People come in looking for all manner of provisions – a half pound of roast turkey, wine and a custom anniversary cake, Mayflower Ale and fare for Sunday’s game – but they stay to chat about their families, jobs, the neighborhood, looking for advice on food and on life. One woman even had Terri help design her kitchen!
It’s no wonder that Terri’s opinion is highly sought after. Not only does she offer a range of fabulous edibles, many of which are locally produced and frequently come from other single woman-owned businesses, but catering and gifts as well. Catering and specialty cakes have been Front Street’s largest growth areas, harnessing Terri’s decades of experience in food and beverage service. She offers set menus for get togethers of all sizes and for every occasion you can think of – bridal and baby showers, birthdays, BBQs, dinner parties, holidays – and even some you wouldn’t. For example, she offers a bereavement menu for shivas and memorial gatherings, allowing loved ones to focus on what’s truly important during difficult times. From soup to nuts, to wine and beer, to impressive desserts, she can do it all. What really gets Terri excited though, is concocting the custom menus she’s become known for creating for those with allergies, special diets, or just looking for something new. Nut-free, gluten free, vegan – no problem!
Terri can also help you pull together beautiful gift baskets incorporating special touches like her private label salsas, dips and preserves, along with wine, cheeses and sweet and savory snacks. Those in a hurry love her pre-made baskets, but today I’m working on an informal picnic for two with apple cider, a Cubano Panini, pumpkin chili and a bench near the harbor. Whether you’re stumped by a menu, a gift or life in general, you’ll find answers at Front Street Gourmet.
Front Street Gourmet
121 Front Street
Scituate Harbor, MA 02066
~ Sara Helmold