North Fork Chocolate Company’s temporary lease at the Tanger Outlets food court in Riverhead expires this month, owner Ann Corley said Tuesday, but the Calverton-based artisanal sweets manufacturer has no plans to leave the mall altogether.
Ms. Corley said they hope to set up shop just outside the café’s current digs and operate from a mobile food truck as early as this spring.
“When we moved into Tanger [last fall] there was a lease pending on the space and we were told we could stay here as long as it was vacant,” she said. “We were hoping it would fall through but it didn’t so [Tanger] is moving forward and taking possession March 1.”
The café’s last day of business at the Tanger One food court will be Feb. 17, Ms. Corley said. North Fork Chocolate Company will continue to manufacture goods from its space at the Calverton Business Incubator pending confirmation of a new location.
Tanger Outlets officials were not immediately available for comment, but Ms. Corley said the mall’s management office is currently looking to place North Fork Chocolate Company elsewhere on its lot, a move that would require site plan approval from Riverhead Town.
For the past several months North Fork Chocolate Company, which was launched in 2012 by Ms. Corley and Steve Amaral, the café’s current executive chef, has served fresh soups, artisanal sandwiches, and, of course, its handmade chocolates.
In the future, Ms. Corley said, North Fork Chocolate Company may start offering ice cream made with milk from Goodale Farms in Riverhead.
“We did phenomenal,” Ms. Corley said of the company’s short tenure at the Route 58 shopping center. “Everyone has been wonderful. The folks in the management office are fantastic and we’ve been really well received.”
But business isn’t over just yet: customers can still head to North Fork Chocolate Company to pick up decadent Valentine’s Day specials, including long-stemmed chocolate-covered strawberries, heart-shaped marshmallow pops, double-stuffed and Belgian chocolate-dipped Oreo cookies, chocolate-covered pretzels and a wide array of chocolate truffles.
“We’re really sad to have to leave our space after building the kitchen,” Ms. Corley said. “It was a lot of work but I don’t regret a single day. We’re not going away, though — we’re just having a new beginning.”