Peconic Paddler in Riverhead is sold

Thomas Fredette

Jason Fredette, Thomas Fredette, Jim Dreeben and Rob Fredette. The Fredette family recently purchased Peconic Paddler in Riverhead from Dreeben. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Jim Dreeben has been saying he’s going to retire for “probably 20 years,” but every summer, he returns to his Riverside business, Peconic Paddler, to rent kayaks and canoes.

This year, though, he means it. Well, mostly.

Dreeben sold the business and the property March 24 to a group led by Tom Fredette, a New York City firefighter from East Moriches. He declined to reveal the purchase price.

“I’m sort of sad about it because I’ve been here for 51 years, but I’m relieved, too,” Dreeben said. “It’s time to move on. I like to travel.”

While Fredette is considering a number of long-range plans for the property, such as a café or restaurant, he still plans to keep the paddling business intact.

He also hopes to also keep Dreeben around to show him the ropes — for at least this summer.

“We’re going to continue what he’s been doing for the summer and then create something new … it’s all still in the planning stages,” Fredette said Saturday during a “Meet the New Owners” event with Dreeben at the Peconic Avenue store.