June 2020

A&M Provisions: Tickle your taste buds at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina’s new gourmet specialty foods store

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Maury and Anne Fitzgerald, owners of A&M Provisions in Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina

Maybe you’ve never thought about serving all-natural, chef-grade pineapple or banana vinegar over ice cream … or drizzling goat’s milk caramel over fruit or your favorite cheese. Perhaps your snack stash doesn’t include pork clouds or truffle chips. And it’s a good chance your weekly menu rotation doesn’t feature wild game or fresh ramen, because where are you going to find those ingredients?

Whether you’re searching for a gift or are on the hunt for unique or hard-to-find ingredients for eating, cooking or entertaining, waste no time getting to A&M Provisions, an upscale specialty food market located at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. While the store looks deceivingly small from the window, behind the door awaits a world of gourmet temptations for everyone from the serious cook to the curious eater.

“For some people, it’s like Disney World. It looks like a small store, but I’ve had people walk around for an hour,” owner Maury Fitzgerald said. “We carry international products from Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Japan and many of the top U.S. makers as well. Some of what we carry can be found at your local grocery store, which tells us there is an appetite for specialty foods here. However, much of what we carry is small-batch made products that larger grocery chains can’t carry because the products are not mass produced.”

If you’re on a mission for something specific or just want to explore, Fitzgerald is happy to help. Taking his cues from the customer, he is prepared to offer a full-blown guided tour or leave you alone to browse the impressive collection of imported, domestic, conventional and organic products. Think award-winning small-batch products from around the country and the world: charcuterie, tinned seafood, specialty meats (including Wagyu beef, bison, rabbit, and other wild game), cheeses, organic grains, fresh ramen, heirloom beans, imported and domestic olive oils, chutneys, jams, pickles, crackers, sauces, honeys, maple syrups, bean-to-bar craft chocolates, Italian cherries, cocktail mixers, seasonings, salts, and so much more. They are adding a unique selection of wines and craft beers next month. In every nook and cranny, find an array of surprising confections and pantry items to savor now or keep on hand. There truly is something to tickle every taste bud, elevate any menu, and delight your foodie friends and favorite hosts.

Ask a question or engage Fitzgerald in conversation, and his eyes dance at the opportunity to introduce the stories behind the newest and best food products he has so conscientiously curated. He can tell you where the product is from, who is producing it and how it’s produced if you care to learn, because that’s how he rolls—taking pride in the depth of his research, aiming for the highest quality and most unique food products available.
While knowledgeable and up-to-date on all the latest hoity-toity gourmet goodness you can imagine, Fitzgerald is decidedly a down-to-earth regular kind of guy who enjoys getting to know his customers and introducing them to new and/or unfamiliar foods. “A lot of it’s different, and it might seem intimidating, but it’s really fun,” he said. “There’s such diversity, there is something for everyone.”

The former golf pro-turned-entrepreneur, and his wife Anne (high school sweethearts, married 30 years) came to Hilton Head Island from Orlando, where they operated a similar store, starting out as a fresh produce market and later morphing into a well-respected specialty foods source. Having vacationed on Hilton Head Island for over 20 years, ironically, it was on the beach here that Fitzgerald came up with the idea for the seasonal produce business in Florida, originally named Fresh 24 Produce. As he began shifting the focus to specialty foods, he rebranded two years ago as A&M Provisions, which stands for Anne and Maury. Yes, Anne plays a vital role, crunching numbers, keeping the books, and occasionally working at the store. (She also holds a fulltime accounting position with another company.)

Ready for a change of scenery and a slightly different pace of life, it’s only fitting that the Fitzgeralds have now settled on Hilton Head Island. The couple recently closed their Florida operations to make their home here, bringing with them a wealth of experience and a product lineup unlike any other in the area. Drawn to the beach and the dog-friendliness of the community, they are feeling right at home here with their two adopted shelter mutts.

Opening the new store in February, in spite of the disruption caused by the pandemic and subsequent restrictions that slowed their launch, Fitzgerald said they are glad they moved here and are confident that their store will be a hit with locals and area visitors alike once word gets around and normal events and activities resume. “We feel like we are a good fit for the island, and we’re happy we’re here,” he said.

The store is now open with new stock arriving regularly and locally sourced specialty items being added. Drop in Monday-Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and keep your eyes peeled for news of tastings and other special events to come.

A&M Provisions is located at 9 Harbourside Lane, Suite F at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina on Hilton Head Island. For more information, visit amprovisions.com or call (843) 671-2424. Be sure to follow on Facebook for new inventory, special offers and events.

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