Something Natural, the popular bakery from Nantucket, known for its delicious sandwiches and fresh house-baked bread, is celebrating five years at its Greenwich location this month.
This five-year anniversary is especially important to Something Natural.
Only two years after the Greenwich location opened behind Saks off of Greenwich Avenue, the pandemic hit and shook up the entire restaurant industry.
Pam Evans, General Manager of the Greenwich Something Natural, said, “This milestone is very important to us. Of course, it means we survived the pandemic and are still here. We’ve made a commitment to the community, and we want to be here for a long time. Even in the hardest of times, we’re able to push through and succeed, and we’re grateful that we’ve had the support of the community through this time.”
For Pam, her tenure at the Greenwich store has been particularly challenging, having taken the General Manager position just before the pandemic hit in March 2020.
“There was a lot of pivoting,” she said. Her first task was to learn to bake the bread, something that has always been a part of her life, since childhood.
“As a child, we visited Nantucket every summer, and the brand was familiar to me. It’s really a special product,” Evans said. “It tastes like my childhood. In the 1980s, we used to try to figure out the secret recipe for that herb bread, but we never quite got it right. So when this job opened, I just had to figure out how to make that delicious herb bread!”
Online ordering and curbside pickup has been a big hit for the Greenwich location. One of the biggest changes Pam saw since joining was a shift to online ordering and curbside pickup.
The pandemic has created a new set of customer expectations, not just for Something Natural, but for the entire restaurant industry. According to Evans, online ordering and curbside pickup has been enormously popular, and is likely to continue to be a focus after the pandemic has passed.
“It’s not hard to go out of our way to do nice things for the community,” Evans said. “The curbside pickup has been especially convenient for our customers. Not only does it reduce traffic inside the store, because we’re in a very busy area, it’s a nicer experience if we can bring food to our customers’ cars. Also, we have a lot of moms who have babies and small children in the back seat, so I’m happy to help make their lives a little easier.”
Pam and the entire team are proud to be celebrating their five-year anniversary, as the restaurant industry has faced the biggest challenges it has ever seen. “The biggest challenge was when they shut down the town, and most of the town went quiet,” Evans said. “As an essential service though, we remained open during the shutdown, but that was simply the hardest time.”
“Then more people started coming out, and I had some brave Greenwich High School students join the team for the weekends,” she continued. “It was great having them in the restaurant. A lot of people in the area know Something Natural from visiting Nantucket. We were showing some growth during the pandemic over previous years because of the recognition, our location, and the fact that for many people, it represented such an important part of their lives. For many people in the community I think, like myself, it makes us think of those pleasant childhood memories visiting the island.”
Evans sees continued innovation as key to the store’s success. While she has learned the secret recipes she craved as a child, she has also grown to know her customers personally. She knows what they like and she’s not afraid to experiment or bring in new things.
“Besides the soups and hot sandwiches that are so popular, especially on those cold winter days, we’re always trying to appeal to different types of people around town,” Evans said. “It’s one of the more affordable options, too, and for many, it’s a cozy little meeting place, with indoor seating and picnic tables outside as well.”
The shop now also features ice cream and coffee, and of course, their famous chocolate chip cookies remain a perennial favorite. True to Something Natural’s focus on community, the coffee isn’t any coffee – they rely exclusively on Stamford-based BonJo Coffee Roasters, whose unique roasts offer an unmistakable coffee experience. The local partnership reflects their community-driven operation.
Something Natural is also carrying New York-based Perry’s Ice Cream, a popular regional favorite, whose devotion to sustainability is in line with Something Natural’s own dedication to the environment; Connecticut’s Lesser Evil Snacks; and most recently Nantucket Crisps – a new chip company started in Nantucket, who gives part of their profits to the North Atlantic Right Whale.
Something Natural is proud to be a member of Waste Free Greenwich, and partners with Food Rescue Fairfield County. Through Food Rescue, Something Natural donates leftover bread and food that does not get used each day.
Most recently, Food Rescue also encouraged Something Natural to join Waste Free Greenwich and their Food Matters Challenge, a program which helps reduce food waste and turn it into compost. It also encourages reuse of plastics by bundling them, and keeping them out of our landfills. Something Natural is one of the very first businesses to participate in the Waste Free Greenwich program and a community leader in waste free food service.
Help Something Natural celebrate five years in Greenwich; come visit to enjoy a favorite taste or try something new! Something Natural is located at 189 Greenwich Avenue, behind Saks Fifth Avenue, and is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm, 10 am – 4 pm on Sundays.