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A scene from Gingerbread University in Baiting Hollow. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Gingerbread University, the beloved shop where kids — and kids at heart — can build the gingerbread house of their dreams, is back for the season, now at the Naugles Barn at Hallockville Museum Farm

Even if you’re not ready to deck the halls, these popular classes sell out fast and you won’t want to miss out.

Founded by Frederick “Gingerbread Fred” H. Terry Sr. in 1999, Gingerbread University is a pioneering certified educational institution where people of all ages can decorate their very own gingerbread house or specialty item through their guided workshops. 

“At the time, no one was selling pre-constructed gingerbread houses to a consumer population,” Terry noted when referring to the origins of Gingerbread University. “In the past 25 years, it’s become a sensation.” 

Terry, a descendent of both Hallock and Terry families that helped found the North Fork in the mid-17th century, will host this year’s workshops in his ancestral home at Hallockville Museum Farm.  The “old world” gingerbread recipe he uses is a mixture of Barbados molasses and he now offers egg-free and gluten-free options as well as chocolate cookies for those who don’t like gingerbread.

“I’m hopelessly entrepreneurial,” said Terry. “This year we are introducing a rock candy mountain option as well as a prince and princess treasure chest, which is actually how gingerbread was used in the 15th and 16th centuries” 

Along with these new additions, workshop participants can decorate a gingerbread person, bear, house, train, and much more. Their seasonal holiday kits range from $16.50 for a gingerbread person to $49.50 for their deluxe “Old World” gingerbread house, an option for two people to decorate at once. 

“It’s less expensive than going to Disney World that’s for sure,” said Terry. Partial sales proceeds will go to Smile Train, a nonprofit that provides corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates.

According to Terry, classes for the holiday season are booking fast. Classes are available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays starting December 1 through the 23. Each session is one hour. To reserve, Terry recommends calling the store at 631-727-7309 or booking through their website

“Gingerbread is the most non-denominational, non-sexist, non-religious, benign product. It doesn’t have a sexual orientation, it doesn’t have color,” added Terry. “Gingerbread is a balanced representation of what humans should be. It’s a very important philosophy I follow.” 

This year’s classes will be located at 6038 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, only 20 minutes east of the Tanger Outlets.