When Joanne Cosonas was a little girl, there was a word her Greek mother would say when they were on their way to the store for things like feta, jarred grape leaves and leg of lamb.
It was “agora.”
“It literally means ‘little market,’ ” Cosonas said.
Now Cosonas, a retired apparel buyer in the fashion industry and a Syosset transplant, and her husband, retired Con Edison accountant Tony Medina, hope to open their own “agora” on Mattituck’s Pike Street. They’ll offer spinach pies, Greek desserts, olives, cheeses like kasseri and manouri — all rare commodities on the North Fork — and more.
The couple hopes to open Agora the Little Greek Market by Memorial Day.
“When I do my shopping, I would pretty much go to Astoria to buy my Greek necessities,” Cosonas said of her years in Syosset. “These are things you don’t find out here.”
The couple retired and moved to Wading River about 18 months ago to care for Cosonas’ aging parents, Arthur and Catherine, who hail from the island of Lesvos. But they soon found that although they didn’t miss the intense pace of working in New York, they needed to find a routine.
“I went from a fast-paced working life to nothing,” Cosonas said. “And then I found myself saying, ‘They could use a Greek shop out here.’ ”
The store will also offer to-go items and a small gift shop.
Agora’s logo features the mati or evil eye — “it keeps away bad spirits,” Cosonas said — in another nod to her Mediterranean heritage. But she plans to display the image — which is prominent in Spanish, Italian and Turkish cultures — with the word for the “evil eye” in those languages.
When it opens, Cosonas and Medina hope it will become a go-to spot for the denizens of the North Fork’s Greek enclaves as well as transplants like Cosonas’ parents.
“We’re looking for the Greek community’s support,” Medina said.
Agora the Little Greek Market is located at 610B Pike Street in Mattituck.