SueEllen Rothery already had bought a sandwich at 7a Foods, but for the second time on the day of its grand opening she was back at the new take-out eatery behind Alley’s General Store, waiting patiently. “I bought a sandwich just now to share with my sister, and I brought it home and she had one bite and said, ‘I’m not sharing this.’ So now I’m back again waiting in line for my own sandwich.”

No wonder 7a Foods had run out of food by 2 p.m. on Friday. Husband-and-wife team Dan Sauer and Wenonah Madison-Sauer had to close early on their very first day.

Outside the pouring rain seemed to conquer both landscape and mood, but during the lunchtime rush an inviting warmth emanated from 7a. As many as 15 customers stood at the counter, puzzling over delicacies they could try for the first time.

The Sauers launched 7a Foods last year as a farm that could supply seasonal produce to Island restaurants in addition to their catering company. Mr. Sauer worked as a chef at Craft, Hearth and Oceana in New York before coming to the Vineyard to be chef at the Outermost Inn; he left that kitchen last year to start his own. Mrs. Madison-Sauer runs the business side of the culinary venture. The name is a tribute to the Island’s soil — 7a is the grading of the sandy soil of Martha’s Vineyard.

With the new venture, the Sauers aim to bring these same qualities — fresh local produce and delicious prepared food — to a restaurant on the State Road artery between down and up-Island. The restaurant stands in the spot that previously housed Back Alley’s, Garcia’s Deli, and then had sat empty since November 2009.

This new permanent location for 7a Foods is an oasis in the up-Island food desert, and many of the customers who walked in on Friday seemed thrilled with the prospect of a reliable and high-quality take-out restaurant near their homes. The fact that much of the food is local is the cherry on top.

Part of 7a Foods’ mission is to showcase and use produce from their own farm in Aquinnah, but another part is to support local agriculture and sustainable products. Stated plainly on the blackboard that announces the menu above the cash registers is the following mantra: “Whenever we can, EVERYTHING is made from SCRATCH with LOCAL ingredients.”

As a result, said Mrs. Madison-Sauer, “Our menu is going to be ever-changing, depending on what’s available.”

Sprinkled throughout the restaurant were supplementary gourmet options from elsewhere. Bags of Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ beans, from the independent Portland, Oregon-based coffee roasters, paraded in perfect rows across the counter. Bars of Mast Brothers Chocolate, a New York candy-making company that ships its cocoa beans using only sailboats, sat in their delicate wrappers right next to the register, tempting every customer who tried to get away with just a healthy option.

Mrs. Madison-Sauer was out mingling with the many customers who flowed steadily in and out of the restaurant, while her husband led the effort in the kitchen.

“It’s definitely a first day. It’s a little crazy,” she began, when at that moment, she was interrupted mid-sentence by several people rushing up to congratulate her, telling her how excited they were to be there, and how delicious the pulled-pork sandwich really was. A friend ran up through the rain to hand her a pot of congratulatory flowers.

Not everyone there was coming out to support friends. “We’ve had a lot of local supporters, but a few people came in by accident and didn’t know it was our first day,” Mrs. Madison-Sauer said.

Some of the things on the menu were not available Friday, including the peanut butter and seasonal jam sandwich, which left several young customers disappointed. But that and more will be available, even for customers who want seconds, as the restaurant opens again today after taking a Monday breather. Coffee and breakfast is from 7 to 11 a.m. and lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.