OCEAN PINES — Like so many successful businesses, Pines Point Provisions was conceived out of the experience of genuine need. George and Anna Vitak, along with their son, Michael, have been avid boaters for some time. Just as they understand the pleasures of fishing or just spending the day on the water, they understand the niggling inconveniences that can detract from it.
If there is a downside to boating in Ocean Pines, especially if you live relatively close to your slip, it is that the list of things you might end up needing is nearly as long as the list of things you definitely need. It is true of many public and private launches that by the time a person is ready to set out, having to run for a forgotten item can take the wind out of your sails.
When they had the opportunity last year to make a deal with the building’s owner, the Vitaks elected to spend the next 12 months preparing to run their store. From the outset, they were committed to making several improvements to the operation, improvements based on their experiences as boat owners.
The first order of business was to open almost unreasonably early on the weekends. By the time 4:30 a.m. rolls around the family members already have the store open and are preparing for a brisk day of business.
The best way to describe the stock is to say most of the things you might have forgotten but really need — from snacks, to bait, fishing and swimming gear, to ice and coolers and even cleaning supplies— are items they regularly carry.
It is critical to point out they keep their live bait fresh by using the tides to help change the water they use to store the bait, making the most of their location directly on the water. More importantly, they try to stock enough boating parts that a day on the bay can be saved if the problem is small or common enough.
If getting boaters ready for their day is Pines Point Provisions’ bread, saving them time when they return is their butter.
To begin with, they have developed relationships with local parts dealers, so if someone returns from a trip needing a part, they can order it and have it usually within a day or so. Similarly, should a boater discover something needs replacing while making a preliminary check, they can help.
In addition to snacks, ice and the like, Pines Point Provisions also carries everything a boater needs to save time on the trip home. They expect to have beer and wine available directly but already have things such as fresh watermelon as well as corn and other vegetables that might go well with the day’s catch. They also have most of the spices, including Old Bay and another specially prepared crab seasoning of their own.
Although they are still working on the finishing touches, before the summer is over, they expect to open a grill, serve breakfast sandwiches and prepared box lunches to go.
Once the kitchen is running, they will begin taking orders via e-mail, phone or fax, so if a fishing party wants breakfast ready on arrival as well as lunch ready to be loaded onto the boat, they can have the party in and out in minutes.
Those who had the pleasure on the 4th of July are privy to Pines Point Provisions’ dock, which offers a comfortable view of the bay and stools and chairs where you can take a break and enjoy an ice cream bar from their freezer.
Pines Point Provisions is open to all boaters and has a service dock for that reason, meaning that even boaters who sailed from other marina’s will have the opportunity to save themselves a trip ashore and still be confident they’ll get what they need to enjoy their day.