It’s a new chapter for Provisions, the deli and sandwich shop that was a local favorite on Tinker Street. If you’re wondering what happened to Anthony Heaney and Emily Sherry and their sumptuous sandwiches, they’ve moved down to the Woodstock Golf Club. The bigger space means they’re open for dinner and yes, they have a full bar if you prefer an adult beverage with your meal.
“They found us,” said co-owner Sherry. “Which was I think kind of the coolest part about it in some ways for me.” Sherry and Heaney had spoken at a Chamber of Commerce event last year about why they had chosen Woodstock to open a business and that’s what planted the seeds for the move. “Of the whole group that were there presenting, we were the only people who had grown up here. We were the only kind of local business owners,” Sherry said.
The next day, Woodstock Golf Club General Manager John Rizza came to the Tinker Street shop and introduced himself. “Initially we were pretty unsure. We just weren’t sure if we wanted to change our model,” Sherry said. “At that time we were actually thinking about closing the retail location and opening just a straight catering kitchen, and that seemed to be the direction that we wanted to go. The catering for us has been phenomenal and it’s been much more financially rewarding than having a retail location on Tinker Street. You have to sell a lot of sandwiches to make a living and rents are really high on Tinker Street.”
Sherry and Heaney spent a lot of time talking to Rizza and visiting the golf club and finally meeting with its board of directors. They met members who they felt truly cared about the community. “That really resonated for Anthony and I because that’s obviously been so important to us over the course of the last couple of years,” Sherry said. “They were just incredibly supportive and they said we want people here who love our town, who want to make it work as a local spot.”
Though the golf course is private, the restaurant has always been public, something the golf club wants to communicate. “They want the public in here. They want locals to come in here. They want tourists to come in here and weekenders. They want to show off their beautiful property. They want people to get excited about the game and to understand what they do here,” said Sherry. “They were just so inviting and so open to what we wanted to do.”
The board said they could change the interior, so Sherry and Heaney did, putting in new lighting and seating. The board was very flexible with Heaney and Sherry’s insistence that they be open year round, a change from past restaurateurs who have leased the space. “We each have children to support and neither of us are interested in just working a 7-month season,” said Sherry, who brought on her daughter, Maddie Mood, to wait tables and learn the business so she has a skill and has work when she comes home from college for the summer. “If you going to be a part of the community and you’re going to feed the community, you have to be there even when it’s cold and it’s crappy and it’s snowing. They were really supportive of that and they’ve been supportive in getting the building ready to be open year-round.”
Ability to cater was key to move
The cramped Tinker Street location was stifling their growing catering business, and now with a full kitchen, all the cooking and prep can be done on-site an the dining area can even be used to host events. “We can host weddings here, we can have showers here. We’re doing a big Onteora reunion here this summer. The space offers a lot of possibility for us,” Sherry said.
And of course, parking is a big deal. With the lot at the corner of Routes 212 and 375 and the overflow across the street, it opens more possibilities. “When we were on Tinker Street, people said to us consistently, especially the locals…if you only had a parking lot or a place for me to park…If you only had a dining room, I would be here all the time,” Sherry said.
Filling a need for affordable pub food
With a restaurant boom in full swing in Woodstock, Provisions, which made its mark serving lunch to loyal patrons, is ready to fill a dinnertime need. “There’s a lot of high-end stuff going on. Our goal was to feel the niche that wasn’t being filled, which was comfortable, cozy, comfort food in a pub atmosphere with well-priced food and well-priced alcohol,” Sherry said. “There are very few places left in town where you can have a drink for under $10, where you can have a meal for under $15, that isn’t primarily takeout.”
Sherry gave high praise to Bryan Roefs and the crew at Catskill Mountain Pizza for offering affordable food, but said there’s room for more places. “Bryan has an awesome niche, but finding a burger with fries under $14 in this town was getting really hard,” she said.
Provisions will keep prices down, while still making a lot of items by hand. Heaney makes the bread and Sherry’s mother, Mona, makes the deserts. They do all the pickling in-house and always are finding ways to incorporate new things into the dinner menu.
Paying it forward
The Tinker Street location featured a pay-it-forward board where customers could pay for an additional meal or cup of coffee and leave a slip on the bulletin board for someone who couldn’t afford it. Provisions will continue to contribute to the community, but in other ways. “One of this things I struggled with the most about making the decision to close that location and come down here was the pay-it-forward program. That was something that was very hard for me…was trying to get my arms around what that would look like,” Sherry said. “There were times, in the winter frequently, that we were doing more sandwiches off the pay it forward board than we were selling sandwiches. We could be doing upwards of 10 to 15 to 20 sandwiches a day off the pay-it-forward board,” Sherry said.
Unfortunately, that can’t continue in the new setting, so Provisions has found other ways to help. Sherry is now on the Daily Bread soup kitchen’s board of directors and is working on ways to make prepared food more readily available.
What about lunch?
For now, the kitchen and bar are open Thursdays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 114 Mill Hill Road with a pub-style dinner menu. That will change starting in April, when Provisions will be once again open for lunch with the sandwiches locals know.
Sherry said she wanted everyone to get in the swing of things and work out the kinks with the dinner menu before opening for lunch. She hears from people clamoring for lunch all the time and asks for patience.
“I get calls everyday. Why don’t you open for lunch?,” she said.
For reservations or to ask about their catering options, call Provisions at 845-546-3354.