There’s a new spot to pick up a wedge of aged Vermont cheddar, creamy French brie, or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, Swiss challerhocker, on your trip to the North Fork’s vineyards.
After 25 years in the restaurant industry, including nine years at Wading River’s La Plage, Patty Kaczmarczyk is ready to open her own business. Enter Cheese and Spice Market, which opens Friday at the brand new The Shoppes at East Wind in Wading River.
Cheese and Spice Market is one of the first to open in the complex, a new venture which features 28 stores varying in size from 500 to 2,000 square feet. Other businesses include a rustic sit-down Italian restaurant, bakery, pizzeria, ice cream shop, bridal boutique and olive oil store.
The interior of the cheese shop’s new 1,000-square-foot space, featuring attractive farmhouse-style shelves and tables, was largely designed and built by Ms. Kaczmarczyk and her husband Gary.
A large pine counter encircles the shop’s center. Matching pine shelves support rows of high quality herbs and spices, and soon, teas, jams, honey and other artisanal goods.
“You can smell or taste anything you want before you buy it,” she said, adding that she sources her inventory directly from wholesalers. “The quality of the spices are phenomenal.”
As for the emphasis on spices as well as cheese, Ms. Kaczmarczyk, who lives and raised her family in Wading River, said it stems from her love of cooking with good ingredients. However, the store is primarily a cheese shop. In fact it’s the only cheese shop located between C’est Cheese in Port Jefferson and The Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck.
“We wanted the cheese counter and the cheese display to be front and center when customers walk in the door,” Mr. Kaczmarczyk said.
Visitors will find an ample selection of cheese behind the counter. Expect everything from raw Jersey cow milk cheese made by Vermont producer Consider Bardwell and Paski Sir sheep cheese from Croatia.
Some of Ms. Kaczmarczyk’s favorites include cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont or French blue cheese from Saint Agur. The selections will rotate.
“I want to keep things good and fresh,” she said.
Cheese platters will be available as well as cheese by the pound, to-go cheese plates, charcuterie and gift baskets. Ms. Kaczmarczyk plans to offer classes, like a course in mustard making, in the future.
A mom of two grown sons, she said she is thrilled to launch the business following two years of planning.
“People told me if you don’t do it, you know, you’re going to regret it,” she said.
The Shoppes at East Wind is located at 5768 Route 25A in Wading River.