Catering, family-style, with V. Jaime Hamlin and Sons

Macaleer, top left, Duncan, top right, Jaime, and Alexander outside their home in Vineyard Haven. —Bowen Fernie

EV: After two brutal years of dealing with the pandemic, the food service industry was gutted, and weddings and parties on Martha’s Vineyard and everywhere else were canceled. How does this year feel? Are there positive changes that came about from this massive disruption?

Having had various restaurants on the Island (Martha’s in the ’70s and the Oyster Bar in the ’90s), catering seemed like a natural next step. My sons, triplets Alex, Nick, and Duncan, have worked at the business since they were 13, and now they head up the kitchen. The youngest, Mac, does occasional stints at the bar. We all enjoy working together as a family, and with my dedicated and talented team, we make sure brides and grooms have the perfect Island wedding!

But the past two years, 2020 and 2021, were quite a challenge. In 2020, realizing that everyone was canceling their weddings and large parties, we decided to pivot to drop-off dinners — we had an online menu that clients would order from, and we would do a contactless drop-off.

All decked out for an Island gathering. —V. Jaime Hamin

We now know every dirt road and hidden lane on M.V. — that was challenging, and very different from the norm.

This year started with a bang early in May, and looks to continue gangbusters into October. Everyone seems happy to gather again, clients and employees both. We are booked every weekend until October! 

I’m trying to look on the bright side as far as positive changes, but with the Islandwide labor shortage and inflated food prices, there are not that many post-pandemic wins, although the uptick in business offsets these inconveniences.

This year we are doing weddings for couples who had canceled their wedding due to the pandemic, and now have babies — some things could not wait! We’re also catering five major fundraisers, including for SailMV and Hospice. This is our way of giving back to the community that has always supported us.