Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hatch’s Opens for the Season

Find fresh fruit fast at Hatch’s, conveniently located right on the Town Hall parking lot. Hatch’s also sells veggies and flowers. Next door, shop for fish and lobster. Loyal customers return every summer for the friendly staff, fine service, and quality merchandise.

Hatch’s is the oldest fish market in Wellfleet. In 1971, Rob McClellan started selling fish here as a summer job. He bought the shop in 1982. The next spring Rob asked sister Lauren to market produce. The two never looked back. Fourteen years later they are still going strong.

Rob seems to have a penchant for fish. “Just look at this flounder,” he tells me. “It’s beautiful!” Indeed, the fish he is filleting is fresh and will find its way into flying pans all over Wellfleet. Rob enjoys selling high quality fish and does so with gusto. As I take a few notes, he turns to suggest a recipe to a customer who has just bought some mussels. Rob hires local kids to mind the fish counter. The fact that he works right alongside them heightens the camaraderie.

In front of the other half of the shop, Lauren displays fruit that makes the mouth water. She buys local and organic whenever possible. A vegetarian who once picked apples, raspberries, and cucumbers in Oregon, Lauren knows her produce. The fruit she sells actually has flavor. The flowers and veggies aren't bad either. Wellfleet regulars have also come to appreciate her homemade salsa, pesto, and fruit popsicles.

Most of the berries I serve for breakfast at Chez Sven come from Hatch's.

The best time to shop is morning or early afternoon. There is always a rush at the end of beautiful beach days, so plan accordingly.

Hatch’s is a seasonal business and stays open until late September.