Jennilee Morris wasn’t planning on opening up a second location of North Fork Roasting Company in the midst of a pandemic. But when a friend brought her an opportunity to open in the heart of Westhampton Beach, it was “a little bit hard to ignore.”
It was in March, just before everything began to shut down, that Morris found out about the opportunity on Main Street.
“Regardless of what’s happening with the coronavirus, I can’t let that be a factor,” she said. “This is going to pass, and this is too good of an opportunity for us to offer more to our employees. It’s enabled us to keep people busy in a time where the urge is to have to lay off.”
Despite only being able to offer delivery and takeout at the Southold location, Morris said the response has been positive and that she is excited to keep that up at their second location, which is set to open next weekend.
“In Southold, we’ve had a really supportive community,” she said. “It really feels like the shop is still able to function.”
Morris is no stranger to the South Fork, having worked there for many years before coming to the North Fork in 2006. “I did enjoy it over there, and it’s very different,” she said. “It feels like a different speed.”
The plan for the second location is to offer the same food and beverage menu and start off with takeout and delivery, similar to what the Southold location currently has. But the interior is much different, Morris said, and she is unable to do any renovations at this time due to the restrictions.
“The space itself is smaller — it has big windows,” she said. “It has a very different feel than our Southold location.”
Although Morris has had what she calls a “few waves of fear,” she is excited for what this second location can bring to her and her staff.
“Being able to offer something to my staff, who have been getting us through hard times, and now to be able to give them more responsibility — it’s kind of refreshing,” she said.
“I guess it was a little bit of fate,” she continued. “It just felt good. It just felt right.”
The second location will be located at 59 Main Street in Westhampton Beach.