North Fork Brewing Co. expands offerings with on-site food truck venture

Peter Barraud and Ian Van Bourgondien opened North Fork Brewing Co. in June 2018. Now they’re partnering with a friend for a new on-site food venture. (Credit: David Benthal)

North Fork Brewing Company is expanding its offerings with a new food truck and catering company that will serve as an on-site food source for hungry patrons at the Riverhead tasting room.

The venture, dubbed North Fork Chewing Company, will be headed up by North Fork resident Kirsen Moore.

“We want to mainly be at the brewery to provide stuff for the beer drinkers to nosh on daily, especially in the spring and summer,” Moore said.

On top of being a traditional food truck, North Fork Chewing Company will also pour North Fork Brewing Co. beer and can cater any events that takes place on the property – bachelor or bachelorette parties, weddings and other events. They can also be booked for off-site private events.

Moore is no stranger to the food industry. Her dad owned restaurants on the East End and she managed privately and corporate-owned restaurants for years. She always wanted to open a restaurant, but seeing the need for food at North Fork Brewing and understanding the amount of overhead for a traditional food establishment, she chose a more mobile option.

“You can develop and maintain a really good product just with a smaller business model [than a restaurant],” she said. “I’ll do the same amount of business, so I’m really thrilled to be able to offer my products to local businesses during the day for lunch and things like that, just from a smaller unit.”

As a longtime friend of the brewery owners, Peter Barraud and Ian Van Bourgondien, Moore has a special connection to the brewery, and that’s why they felt the partnership would work so well.

“We kind of had been talking about it, and then we just decided it was time to do it. I know that there is a need for food over at the brewery, and I saw the opportunity,” she said. “And I had been thinking about getting into the restaurant business for years. I decided to take the leap, and it just seemed like a super natural fit.”

Barraud and Van Bourgonien want the food truck to be a way to connect food with their beers and the North Fork.

“We hope that [customers] get a sense of place and time on the North Fork. Food often defines our culture, and the culture of the North Fork is one that celebrates farming and creativity,” Van Bourgonien said. “Hopefully, every bite from the truck paired with a glass of our craft beer gives someone a true and treasured taste of the North Fork.”

North Fork Brewing grows the hops they use to make their beer at their farm. Moore plans on using that mindset with her food truck, sourcing produce, dairy and other ingredients from local farms and businesses.

The menu will mainly consist of high-end soups and sandwiches that cater to many diets. Fried salami, pimento, bacon and tomato grilled cheese, shrimp and mango brie quesadilla, vegan grilled cheese with housemade pesto and roasted tomatoes and sloppy joe chili are all slated to make the menu. Moore also plans on hosting beer-paired dinners and creating Instagram-worthy meat and cheese centerpieces for events.

“They’re like runners for tables for parties that I can do in people’s houses or for events at the brewery if you don’t want to do a big traditional meal,” she said.

Other than creating Instagram-worthy charcuterie boards, Moore hopes her experience running this business will establish her as a role model and resource in the community.

“Community outreach is really important to me,” she said. “I’m hoping to be able to eventually mentor people that want to get into this field, maybe kids that don’t know what they’re going to do with their life. I’d love to give that opportunity for kids to learn how to open a business. That’s a big goal for me.

“I just want to be an example for people and show them that we can have female business owners that are doing well on the East End.”

Moore believes the business will grow over time and has plans for expansion in the future. For now, she’s focused on the food truck’s opening, slated for mid-December.