North Fork Chocolate Company will open its first retail shop in Aquebogue before Valentine’s Day 2015, co-owner Ann Corley announced Monday.
The 1,500-square-foot store — which will technically be called North Fork Chocolate Company Artisan Goods and Gifts — will be housed in the former Esprit de France building on Main Road, adjacent to Peconic River Yoga and Castello DiBorghese’s satellite tasting room.
“We’re very excited,” Ms. Corley said. “Everybody has been asking us, ‘Do you have a store?’ And we’ve just been wanting one so badly. Now we can finally say ‘Yes, we have a store!’”
Ms. Corley and Steve Amaral, the co-owner and executive chef at North Fork Chocolate Company, are leasing the space from Esprit de France owner Matthieu Chatin, who owns the building. Mr. Chatin recently closed his shop because he’s moving back to France, Ms. Corley explained.
At the store, she and Mr. Amaral plan to offer their full line of treats and desserts, including bon bons, truffles, s’mores pops, individual pies, brownies, and their latest invention, chocolate-covered pickle chips. A plan with the Calverton Business Incubator to allow crafters and artisans to sell their goods at the store is pending, Ms. Corley said.
“We’re going to rent space out to other entrepreneurs where they can sell their products and be in full control,” said Ms. Corley, who recently launched a crafts and artisanal foods market called The Artisan Project at First Parish Church in Northville. “We’ll only take a rental fee for the space.”
The new store in Aquebogue doesn’t have a commercial kitchen but Ms. Corley said she and Mr. Amaral plan to build one. They also hope to create a chocolate room inside the shop, a place “where people can come in and see us make the chocolate,” she said.
North Fork Chocolate Company launched from the Calverton Business Incubator in early 2013. The artisanal sweets manufacturer opened a location at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead last fall but their temporary lease expired in February.
The business has already received approval from Tanger Outlets’ corporate headquarters to operate a mobile food truck at Tanger 2 but still needs approval from the Riverhead Planning Board, Ms. Corley said.
“They don’t allow food trucks right now,” she explained. “We’re waiting to hear from Tanger in Riverhead about how we’re going to move forward.”