Beach Bucket Lunch Delivers Right to Your Chair
It was a beautiful June beach day – crisp blue skies, warm sunshine and a cool ocean breeze. Just warm enough that you could wear your swimsuit, but not so warm you needed to stake an umbrella or swat green-headed flies ushered in by a muggy land breeze. Knowing the heat-filled dog days of summer lie just ahead, the last thing I wanted to do on this prefect day was get up from my beach chair and stand in a crowded line to order lunch. But it was late and I was getting hungry, so I knew that exodus was inevitable.
And then I remembered Beach Bucket Lunch.
Serving beachgoers like me since 2014, Beach Bucket Lunch allows you to place your lunch order online and have it delivered to you right on the beach. Offering a variety of tasty options, Beach Bucket Lunch not only maximizes your beach time and allows you to stay and play while someone else serves lunch, it also saves you from scorched feet, long lines and seagulls swooping off with your bucket of fries before you even get off the boards.
Gretchen Ritter Is the owner of this innovative and fun business. As one of four kids, Gretchen has heard her mom recount the challenges that parents face when going to the beach with young children. From packing lunches that end up sand-covered, to lugging everything to the beach and back, to making a bathroom trip with one child to return and find another has to go, many parents spend more time preparing for the beach than they do actually enjoying the beach. In fact, Gretchen credits the business concept to her mom, who came up with the idea long before beach delivery was a thing. Her mom knew it would be wildly popular – not only with parents, but with anyone who would rather be on the beach than standing in line to order or waiting eons for a sticky, fly-covered table to open up.
Inspired by her mom’s vision, Gretchen started Beach Bucket five years ago when she was recovering from a work-related injury as an EMT. She chose to partner with Blitz’s Market, with two locations at 21st Street and at 34th Street in Ocean City – not only because it’s an Ocean City institution, but because over the years, Gretchen’s family has gotten to know owners Dave and Joan Newman well. As decades-long customers themselves, Gretchen’s family grew up shopping at Blitz’s. Gretchen cites the Newman’s personalized customer service and fresh, delicious food as the reason she chose them, knowing it was the best deli choice on the island to offer a wide variety of affordable menu items that would stay fresh and taste delicious upon delivery and beyond.
So how does Beach Bucket Lunch work? You simply visit their website at www.beachbucketlunch.com. You’ll be asked if you want to order using the website and a credit card or call in your order. Beach Bucket Lunch takes all major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discovery and American Express. If you don’t feel comfortable giving your credit card information, you’re in luck – the website is set up to take PayPal payments as well. If you choose to pay cash, you can call in your order at (609) 369-5345.
You can peruse their many offerings on their website. Once you select your food and drinks, you will be asked to provide your location and payment information. You will then receive a confirmation text and an estimated arrival time. When the driver is close to your location, he or she will call to let you know they’re on their way. Oh, and you don’t have to be on the beach – they will deliver to you wherever you are in Ocean City.
Beach Bucket Lunch offers a robust selection of Blitz’s Market delicacies, including hoagies, steak sandwiches, wraps and sandwiches, burgers and dogs, salads and Budha bowls. Sandwich options come with a choice of plain or barbeque chips, a dessert choice of Butterscotch Krimpets or Tastykake Chocolate Cupcakes and a drink. Drink options include bottled water, iced tea, lemonade and a selection of sodas. They also offer fresh smoothies as an additional menu item.
There is truly something for everyone on the Beach Bucket Lunch menu. If the many various sandwich and meal offerings aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, you can completely customize your meal by creating your own sandwich or other healthy option. You can select from fresh deli meats such as turkey, ham, chicken, roast beef, corned beef and salami. Blitz’s Market uses Dietz & Watson meats and cheeses, which are gluten-free. For fish lovers, tuna and crab cakes are also available. Breading options include Kaiser rolls, wraps, a variety of breads, gluten-free rolls or lettuce wraps. They also offer a kids’ menu, consisting of grilled cheese, PB&J, chicken fingers, hamburgers, hot dogs and make-your-own options. With Beach Bucket Lunch, nobody will go hungry. But if they do, there are snack options as well.
Gretchen reports that their most popular food items include cheese steaks, burgers, Italian hoagies and South Jersey’s favorite, Pork Roll sandwiches (for North Jersey readers, that translates as “Taylor Ham”). The sandwiches are fresh, the smoothies are outstanding, the salads are huge and delicious. Gretchen and her team are constantly trying to meet their customers’ needs and are always looking to see what else to add to their growing list of menu options.
Once you place your order, return to your book or your boogie board, and let BBL do the rest. Before you know it, you’ll receive a text from your friendly delivery person letting you know they are close. When you see someone cresting the beach path carrying beach buckets and wearing the trademark BBL straw hat and a smile, you’ll know your food has arrived. Gretchen believes that her staff is at the heart and soul of her business, which she operates as a team. She values each of her teammates’ and their contributions to the growing success of BBL, at the forefront of which is their motivation and drive to provide exceptional customer service. She feels blessed to have had such a great team over the years to help her grow her business into a favorite Ocean City experience.
Your meal will arrive in a colorful beach bucket with shovel attached. Inside the bucket will be your meal, drink, chips, dessert and napkins. The bucket makes a great toy for kids, or a vessel to store your flip fops, sunglasses, book or other items when you leave the beach. If you don’t need a bucket, you can opt to have your meal brought to you in a bag. Whatever you decide to do with the bucket, remember to take a picture and post it on social media to help spread the word. The buckets are not only a fun souvenir, but they also are eco-friendly as they won’t end up in the ocean or a landfill and can be reused and repurposed for years to come.
Speaking of reading books on the beach, BBL offers so much more than just a delicious beach meal. They also offer several books for sale online, for those days when you finish your book quicker than anticipated. They also offer a variety of beach toys, sunscreen and other beach must-haves. Again, you can place your order online or call it in, and they will deliver your purchase to you on the beach or wherever you are.
As if anticipating and meeting your every beach need wasn’t enough, Beach Bucket Lunch will also bring a traditional South Jersey Clam Bake to your Ocean City special occasion, get-together or family dinner. It includes five-gallon buckets filled with clams, shrimp, mussels, Italian sausage, Jersey corn and red skinned potatoes. The meal is served with Italian bread as well as optional sides and additions. They have provided clam bake experiences for small and large groups and are able to accommodate parties of up to 50.
Their Clam Bakes are prepared in small batches for the best quality, especially important for larger group sizes. For more information about their Clam Bakes or to order one for your next gathering, you can use the contact form on their website or call them at (609) 369-5345.
Beach Bucket Lunch is a home-grown Ocean City business whose primary passion is to meet their customers where they are – usually on the beach – and deliver their lunch and beach items so they can stay and enjoy time with friends and family. Their ultimate goal is to make vacationers’ beach experiences better.
I know they did that for mine – thanks to Beach Bucket Lunch, I was able to thoroughly enjoy that glorious Sunday on the beach before I had to fight my way onto the AC Expressway and chug back to harsh reality. Because of Beach Bucket Lunch, I didn’t have to invest precious fleeting beach time to hunt down food. I didn’t have to trudge through hot sand to the entrance, only to have to return to get my beach tag. I didn’t have to dodge bikers and runners on the boardwalk and stand in a long line waiting to order, only to forget that the place doesn’t take cash. I didn’t have to run down the boards searching for an oddly-placed ATM (suspiciously jiggling the card slot to ascertain it wasn’t an illegal card reading device) before I paid a $4 service fee to get a $20 bill. Instead, I customized a meal to my liking, hit submit, finished that book, and then perused the BBL website in search of my next good beach read. Oh – and a bottle of sunscreen, since mine ran out that. Cool beach breeze, yes, but the sun was still potentially lethal for my Irish, opaque winter skin to go too long without it.
The Beach Bucket Lunch team prides themselves on delivering great food and clam bakes in a personalized, professional and friendly way. They’ve become known around the island for their top tier customer service, great food and safe and prompt delivery. And let’s face it – even as an adult, it is much more than fun to get your lunch delivered to you in a beach bucket than a bag. And if you have kids with you, it is something they won’t soon forget.
I’m so glad I remembered Beach Bucket Lunch that day, and I hope now that you will, too.