We recently welcomed another new business to the renovated Norton Building – Gourmet Galley at Home has opened their second shop in the charming location right here on Main Street with its stunning water views. Their flagship store remains in North Stonington. Owner Anna Lathrop, long-time owner of Gourmet Galley Catering, is excited for you to meet her Niantic GG at Home team. They worked tirelessly to get the store ready for the big opening and look forward to welcoming you into their new, thoughtfully designed space.
GG at Home offers fresh and frozen eco-friendly packaged meals and specialty food items. Stop in and take a look – it will be tough to walk out empty-handed! You’ll find entrees, salads, soups, sauces, hors d’oeuvres and desserts, as well as locally sourced food products – all ready TO GO! They serve sandwiches, salads and soups for lunch daily from 11am to 3pm. You can take something to go or eat in with available indoor seating for 20 patrons.
You’ll also find unique and hard-to-find foodie ingredients. GG at Home likes to support local growers and suppliers whenever possible. If local is not available, they choose to buy from sustainable companies. They sell local honey, Elderberry Syrup, cheeses from Mystic Cheese Co and Cato Corners and chocolates from Battleboro, VT. You’ll discover other regional favorites like Tony D’s Pasta and Ice Cream, Terra Firma Farm’s dairy and eggs, Ashlawn Farms Coffee, East Coast Kombucha and Schooner’s Lemonade. They plan to feature produce from local farms in their lunch menu items.
They sell a fun assortment of food-related retail items in the shop, along with holiday-themed selections. Whether you’re hosting the party or attending one and want to bring a hostess gift, you’ll find just what you need. Anna’s cousin, Alyssa Lathrop – a clay teacher at NFA (Norwich Free Academy) – makes all the pottery for sale in the store. In fact, she created all of the dishes GG at Home uses for serving lunch.
While GG at Home always offers customer favorites on their to-go menu, they enjoy featuring special items for holidays and special occasions, like Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, Pi Day and Mardi Gras. Look for lots of seafood options for Fridays during Lent.
The team is excited to continually come up with creative ways to bring people together around good food, interesting wines, local beers and a rotating cocktail. Their future offerings will include things like charcuterie and schmere boards (a base of butter, cream cheese and goat cheese with seasonal toppings and crackers, bread or veggies for sharing), dirty chips (house-made potato chips, blue cheese and bacon) and Felicia’s Focaccia with Truffle Honey Whipped Ricotta Cheese.
Wondering what originally sparked Anna’s passion for great food and fun gatherings? Having grown up in an Italian family, she found that food was at the center of all of their family parties and most memorable get-togethers. And Anna was always right there to help with the preparations.
When it was time to figure out what to study in college, like most 18-year-olds, Anna was undecided. She ultimately chose to pursue studies in music performance at Hartwick College. The discipline it took her to perform recitals in front of several hundred people taught her some important life skills that ultimately brought her to where she is today. It required tremendous focus to practice long hours in a 6’ x 6’ soundproof box; she had to learn to manage her nerves, memorize the music and break the piece of music into small manageable chunks. Anna says, “It all prepared me for this great orchestra I’m conducting now.” Anna learned how to set the standard high for discipline and excellence.
As it turns out, Anna decided not to pursue a career in music upon graduation from college. Instead, she hit the ground running as she took on a waitressing job at the Box Office, a favorite local spot formerly in the space where La Llorona serves customers today. She also learned to bartend there. It helped that she was friends with the chef, Billy, so she could feel comfortable relentlessly asking him questions about what he was cooking. Her responsibilities grew to restaurant management where she managed staff schedules and payroll. She even met her future husband there, and they planned their wedding in her mom’s Waterford backyard.
Anna hired a caterer for her wedding – Essie Spencer, who owned Gourmet Galley Catering out of Essex at the time. Just two years later, Essie catered Anna’s friend’s wedding. There, she approached Anna to ask if she wanted to buy her business. While initially overwhelmed at the offer, Anna realized this seemed like the perfect fit for the skills she had developed so far and for the business she aspired to own. So, she jumped in with both feet, and 25 years later she loves where her journey has brought her today.
GG at Home does all of their scratch cooking daily in their large kitchen in North Stonington. They prepare meals that are not only convenient, but unique dishes that can be time-consuming to prepare yourself. These include specialties such as ossobuco, long-roasted duck, braised lamb shank, chicken pot pie and shepherd’s pie made with lamb. Customers love the classic dishes like braised short ribs, chicken marsala and lemon chicken with couscous. Anna says, “I hope customers will try one of my favorite dishes – Braised Tuscan Pork. It’s an Italian dish with simple ingredients, but it’s complex in flavor and perfect for a chilly winter night served over creamy polenta!”
Soon you’ll be able to pick up a locally grown mixed bouquet of flowers in the shop.
They have earned an excellent reputation for the best catering and event planning services in the region. Anna says, “We love to create custom events for our clients by listening to what makes THEM unique, what they love the most and what they want to shine through in their event, whether it’s a dinner for 12 or a wedding for 200. We are great listeners and love to translate their style into delicious food and memorable events.” They have experience planning events that range from country picnics, family reunions and cocktail parties to business openings and chic weddings. In addition to the all-important food and drinks, they provide all the trimmings from napkins to twinkling lights. Anna likes to say, “We don’t go home until the perfect party is complete.”
When Anna was looking for a second location for her business, Niantic just felt right. She grew up in Waterford, and so many of her clients, friends and family are from this area. They were thrilled with her decision to open a shop on Main Street. Anna says, “The community has been so welcoming and kind. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know people in town. And I love that Niantic has so many community events. We plan to take part in all of them! It’s what makes Niantic so special.”
In addition to comfortable indoor seating for 20, the venue has additional seating for 20 outside, with plans to add a few more in the springtime. Their blue and white striped umbrellas will provide shade in the summertime, and they’re considering heaters for outdoor seating in the fall to extend the season. There’s plenty of parking behind their building with a convenient entrance to the shop from the parking lot.
They plan to fine-tune their lunch menu in the spring, offering a lighter fare to represent the season. Stay tuned for their soon-to-be-announced fare perfect to take to the beach or out on the boat! Visit GG at Home at their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram to stay on top of their specials.
GG at Home
Located in The Norton
185 Main Street, Niantic
Hours: Open Daily 10am – 7pm.
Serving lunch/brunch on the weekends 11am-3pm.
About Our Main Street Blogger:
Joanne lives in, and loves, our community. She was looking for an opportunity to help share all that our local businesses do to make East Lyme such a special place to call home, and she is excited to contribute to our blog. Joanne brings to the role her experience from New London Main Street where she contributed content to their website, newsletters and email communications for many years.