The Village Cheese Shop owner Michael Affatato announced Wednesday he no longer has plans to open a new location in Greenport.
Affatato, who owns The Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane in Mattituck, said in an email the reasoning behind his decision was timing. In March, Affatato said he planned to open a second location at 19 Front Street in Greenport.
“While the prospect of expanding my business is always attractive and tempting, it took this expensive and stressful exercise for me to once again realize how grateful I am for Love Lane,” he said. “It truly is a special place with an amazing staff and the kindest, most sophisticated — and loyal — clientèle. I’m putting all of my efforts and investments into her and plan on being around for a very, very long time.”
The seller of the Front Street building “needed a tenant too quickly for me to have had the time to complete the enormous demolition/renovation necessary,” Affatato said, adding the space had never been used for food handling and the work would have been too time consuming and expensive to begin in the winter.
In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Affatato said he realized in mid-July that the task wouldn’t be finished in time to open the store for the busy season.
“Love Lane was getting busier and busier, so it became clear to me that if I was to open in Greenport both locations would suffer,” he said.
For now, Affatato said he’s committed to enhancing his original location and plans to change some of his offerings by focusing more on artisanal cheeses from smaller farms. Renovations are also underway, including flooring, tile work and adding more comfortable seating at the bar.
In an effort to make up for not opening a store in Greenport, Affatato is offering a 10-percent discount until Dec. 31 for anything in the shop — including café services — to customers who present a driver’s license listing Greenport, East Marion or Orient as their address.
“I understand your disappointment in not having the cheese shop in your neighborhood,” he said in his email. “I appreciate the miles you put on to come see us and wanted to offer something for your fidelity.”