It’s been a little over a year since East Hampton resident Shelly Schaffer opened Hub 44, a 6,000-square foot, state-of-the-art sports training facility on Tan Bark Trail near the entrance of Springs. And although it’s fair to say East End youth greatly benefit from having a brand-new location to play and train, it’s through the newly named Shelly’s Kitchen where the benefit may be even greater.
As a member of the family behind the popular South Fork staple Round Swamp Farm, Schaffer’s eponymous kitchen allows her to cook her renowned recipes for the masses on a regular basis, serving them to-go out of the sports facility and ultimately allowing East Enders the opportunity to enjoy Round Swamp style food during the off season.
Prepared in a commercial-grade kitchen erected a mere 20 feet from the main building of The Hub, the recent name change to Shelly’s Kitchen comes as an effort to associate the operation more easily to the beloved family-owned farm stand.
“Nobody could relate it to Round Swamp,” Schaffer says of her year-old takeout operation, initially dubbed Hub Grub. “It was confusing because none of our regular customers [from Round Swamp] knew that we were doing this.”
Situated on 16 acres of Round Swamp farmland set directly behind the farm stand’s Three Mile Harbor Road location, the facility at Hub 44 features six batting cage lanes, a 52-foot by 80-foot indoor turf field, pitching machines and virtual simulation systems plus plenty of training hands-on with coach-led clinics for baseball and softball. They recently added laser tag and an indoor play zone designed for kids ages 1 to 4 for Friday afternoons.
“It’s been a fun way for me to interact with everyone,” Schaffer says of her sports/to-go food hybrid operation. “And we’ve added 15 additional people to our list of regulars, since we started.”
The idea, Schaffer says, is for parents to bring their kids to Hub 44 for a few hours, and then be able to grab something for dinner out of the amply stocked grab-and-go section, although anyone is welcome to participate, whether you use the sporting facility or not.
“Most of our clients are not using Hub 44, but they love Round Swamp, so this is a great way for them to get that kind of food,” she smiles. New items are posted weekly and potentially include everything from small appetizers, soup, salads and pizzas to larger entrees, sides and desserts. Schaffer also says she tries to incorporate a few low-carb and gluten-free options as well. “I did the keto thing, so I get it,” she laughs. Click here to see this week’s menu.
“I’m not looking to set the world on fire with this,” the mom of three says of her to-go business. “This is fun for me, these are my own recipes, I want to use what’s good, definitely what’s in season and try to accommodate my customers the best I can.” With a small team of half a dozen members helping her in the kitchen, she reminds, “the volume of what we produce is at my discretion, which helps keep the quality and freshness we strive for. The idea is I want to sell out of everything and then move onto whatever I want to cook next.”
Participants can place their orders online by Thursday 12:30 p.m. for pick-up on Friday between 2 and 5 p.m. or on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be a slew of prepared items available to shop from the kitchen’s grab-and-go selection Thursdays from noon to 6 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. All food items will be offered for half-price on Sundays, a paramount move Schaffer reminds keeps the quality of products high. It is, after all, the Round Swamp way.
Shelly’s Kitchen is located at 44 Tan Bark Trail in East Hampton. Call 631-658-9076 for more information.