A labor of love for its proprietor, you might call it fitting that Sarikopa Organic Coffee and Tea House opened on Valentine’s Day of this year.
A small, European-style coffee shop serving organic roasts and tea, it sits in an unlikely location just south of the Riverside traffic circle.
It’s at that spot where owner Agnes Kravit wants her customers to feel a sense of comfort. So far, she is succeeding.
“I really just want everyone to feel at home when they come here,” she said. “I want it to be a nice, warming place for people.”
Kravit immigrated to the United States 17 years ago from Lithuania, where she ran a foreign-language school. Her passion for healthy foods led her to open her first-ever café.
With free wi-fi, outdoor and indoor seating, a breakfast and lunch menu, board games and a complimentary iPad for anyone to use, Sarikopa’s mission is to put everyone at ease.
“95 percent of our customers come back and are regulars now because they love our food and hospitality,” Kravit said. “Much of our baked products are baked right here in the kitchen and everything on our menu is made fresh by our chef.”
The café offers 53 varieties of hot and iced teas. All in labeled jars, customers can choose and prepare the tea for themselves. They can even lift the tops off the jars to smell the teas before they selecting one. Flavors range from chocolate chai to acai berry and everything in between. The teas come from all over the world.
Sarikopa also has organic coffee, fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies. A lunch menu consists of made-to-order paninis, wraps, salads, pastries and soups — all organic as well.
Outdoor seating is available on the wraparound porch and under umbrellas on the back patio, which is surrounded by birdhouses and several pear trees. An organic garden runs along the driveway to the parking lot.
On some Saturdays, a live band plays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the patio. An organic garden runs along the driveway to the parking lot.
Kravit said she recently moved to Riverhead from East Hampton to be closer to her business. She said she opened up near the traffic circle because she believes in the ongoing revitalization efforts there.
Sarikopa is located at 226 Riverleigh Ave., Riverhead. Its current hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends.