Jonathan Perkins knows the power of his pot pies. Since he took over the Cooperage Inn 22 years ago, the menu item has always been popular. Eight years ago, they started offering them to go and now they sell between 500 and 700 a week.
So, Perkins decided to create a separate business, North Fork Pot Pies, a brand that will focus on the pot pies. The popular menu item will still be available to order and to go at Cooperage Inn, but this allows the pot pie side of the business to take on a life of its own.
“I’m putting an expansion on the kitchen and building a huge prep kitchen, specifically for this,” Perkins said. “I’m putting a window in where customers can pull in and just walk up and purchase them instead of walking inside.”
At this new window, which is planned to be finished by the spring, customers can order and pick up the chicken, turkey, short rib or vegetarian pot pies.
Perkins, who is in his 60s, sees this as his retirement plan, albeit a busy one, something that he can take with him once he is ready to move on from the restaurant business.
“What I’d like to do is probably down the road, maybe three or four years, sell the business but take the North Fork Pot Pies business with me,” he said. “I thought the only way I could really do that is to brand it out.”
To expand North Fork Pot Pies beyond the footprint of the Cooperage Inn, Perkins plans to sell the pre-made pot pies, which come frozen, to farm stands around the North Fork. He already is selling them at the winterized barn at Sep’s Farm in East Marion and Serene Green farm stand in Sag Harbor. He also hopes to purchase a commercial space with a kitchen to ramp up production.
2218 Sound Ave, Baiting Hollow, 631-727-8994