12/04/14 9:03pm
12/04/2014 9:03 PM
The recipients of the 2014 Riverhead Chamber of Commerce awards. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

The recipients of the 2014 Riverhead Chamber of Commerce awards. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

The Riverhead Chamber of Commerce held its annual award dinner Thursday evening at the East Wind in Wading River.

Read what each of the recipients had to say by clicking on the page links below. 

08/05/13 5:00pm
08/05/2013 5:00 PM
RACHEL YOUNG FILE PHOTO | Nancy and Keith Kouris at their Blue Duck location last month in Riverhead.

RACHEL YOUNG FILE PHOTO | Nancy and Keith Kouris at their Blue Duck location in Riverhead.

Blue Duck Bakery Café will recognize the official launch of its fourth location in Greenport with a three-day grand opening celebration this week.

The eatery quietly opened its doors on Front Street about three weeks ago.

“We’re really excited to be in Greenport,” said Nancy Kouris, who co-owns the growing bakery chain with her husband, Keith Kouris. “It’s a place my husband and I have visited for more years than I’d like to say. We fell in love with it and we’re looking forward to being the village bakery.”

Festivities at the grand opening include a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony today, Thursday, and live music by local cover band “Unity” on Friday from 7 to 10 p.m.

The eatery will be offering samples of its baked goods, artisan breads, soups and sandwiches throughout the weekend.

In April Ms. Kouris confirmed plans to open a new location in downtown Greenport. The Kouris’ started their first bakery in Southampton 15 years ago and have since opened locations in Riverhead and Southold.

More than a decade ago, could Ms. Kouris ever have imagined Blue Duck Bakery Café would expand to what is it today?

“Oh goodness, no,” she said, chuckling lightly. “I didn’t even think that two years ago. Opportunities just came to us. We just decided to give it a try and we’re real happy. We love opening new stores. We hope to open another two in the future, but right now we’re going to deal with the four that we have.”

ryoung@timesreview.com

07/09/13 12:18pm
07/09/2013 12:18 PM
Bank of America and Blue Duck

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A production crew prepares to begin filming a mini-documentary Tuesday morning at Blue Duck Bakery Café in downtown Riverhead.

A production crew set up shop at Blue Duck Bakery Café in downtown Riverhead Tuesday to film a mini-documentary for Bank of America and the Community Development Corporation of Long Island.

The documentary will highlight lending efforts that are helping transform beleaguered areas across the region.

The bakery’s owners, Nancy and Keith Kouris, said they turned to the CDC to help secure funding for the eatery’s Riverhead location after their bank was unable to get them a loan.

Then Bank of America — a supporter that helps fund the CDC, a HUD-certified housing agency based in Centereach — provided the money needed to help fund the store’s launch, through the CDC. The bakery opened last December.

“They realized that Riverhead was a community that was up-and-coming and trying to be revitalized,” Ms. Kouris said of the CDC. “That’s how we finished our project – they lent us the money.”

The mini-documentary will be appearing on the Bank of America website, Ms. Kouris said.

John Bozek, the vice president of small business lending at the CDC, said Mr. and Mrs. Kouris, who also operate Blue Duck Bakery Café locations in Southold and Southampton, approached him about opening a third location in Riverhead.

Plans for a Greenport store are in the works.

“I saw their passion and dedication to the community,” Mr. Bozek said of Mr. and Mrs. Kouris, who are husband and wife. “I could definitely tell there were opportunities for growth in their business and that it was going to be a successful endeavor, so we decided to go ahead and fund them.”

“They saw us as a local business in the resurgence of Riverhead and it was a project the CDC was happy to do and very interested in,” Mr. Kouris said. “Bank of America saw that and figured [this] was a good place to tell our story.”

ryoung@timesreview.com

03/18/13 11:00am
03/18/2013 11:00 AM
River Otter pups at Long Island Aquarium

L.I. AQUARIUM COURTESY PHOTO | One of four river otter pups at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center. They are not yet in display for the public.

The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center is asking the community to help name its newest residents. Four North American river otters, one female and three males, were born at the Aquarium last month toproud parents,Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Cayenne, Nutella, Butter, Jam, Fluff, Sage, Paprika, Rye, Basil, and Tank are the 10 choices of names.

People can vote at the Aquarium’s Facebook page through April 14. The winning names will be announced on April 15.

Also, in honor of the births, the Blue Duck Bakery Café is creating a commemorative “Otterly Yummy” peanut butter and jelly cupcake. The treat will be available through April 15 at the bakery’s Riverhead location on East Main Street.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Riverhead Foundatio to help preserve and protect the marine environment through education, rescue, rehabilitation and research.

The newborns will not be visible to the public for at least another month.

01/12/13 5:33pm
01/12/2013 5:33 PM

BARBARALLEN KOCH PHOTO | Blue Duck Bakery owner and master baker Keith Kouris of Aquebogue hands out tastings of sunflower rye bread with creamy dark mushroom topping which was paired with 2007 Sherwood Manor red wine blend.

Nancy and Keith Kouris had never given much thought to which wine might go best with their artisanal breads and spreads. But that was the task the Blue Duck Bakery owners were faced with for Saturday’s ‘Winter Foodie Series’ event hosted by Sherwood House Vineyards.

With notes on the wines from Sherwood co-owner Brian Sckipp, Ms. Kouris researched the spreads as her husband made the breads.

“We tried to match the notes on the wines with the spreads and breads,” Ms. Kouris said.

The result was five pairings: classic Parisian with tarragon/lemon butter spread and 2011 unoaked chardonnay; Italian Pugliese Sesamo with smoked brie and 2010 chardonnay; raisin walnut Levain with olive tapenade and 2007 Oregon Road merlot; pain Levain with roasted red peppers and 2007 cabernet franc; and the last one was German sunflower rye with dark mushroom cream sauce and 2007 Sherwood Manor blend.

“This is always my favorite,” Mr. Sckipp’s told the tasters of the final wine.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Sherwood House Vineyards co-owner Brian Sckipp tells the tasters about the Sherwood House Manor wine, which he said was one of his favorites.

Mr. Kouris said that the final pairing was one of the easiest.

“I thought out of the box on this one,” he said. “It was rich and creamy with the earthy mushroom spread. The sunflowers adds the nuttiness to it.”

Mr. Sckipp said the duo did “an excellent job of pairing the nuances of the wine with the nuances of the bread.”

“We are truly fortunate to find wonderful local purveyors on both forks,” he said.

Sherwood House Vineyards, which has vines planted on 28 acres in Mattituck since 1996, is in its second season of their ‘Winter Foodie Series’ organized by tasting room manager Ami Davey. The tasting room is in Material Objects in Jamesport and the wine and food pairings take place once a month from November  through February in a cozy barn on the back of the property. So far this season they had tastings with Catapano goat cheese of Southold and a charcuterie platter from Lombardi Market of Holtsville.

Next month the tasting will be spaghetti and meatballs prepared by Jamesport’s Grana Wood Fired Pizza’s chef David Plath.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Mr. Kouris hands out tastings of sunflower rye bread with creamy mushroom toppings.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Blue Duck Bakery owners Nancy and Keith Kouris of Aquebogue talk about how they researched pairing their artisanal breads with the wines.

12/15/12 8:00am
12/15/2012 8:00 AM

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Blue Duck Bakery celebrated the opening of its Riverhead location Friday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Local officials gathered Friday afternoon for the ribbon cutting of the Blue Duck Bakery Café while the big blue duck himself watched on with delight.

“We’re so happy to have you here,” Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said to bakery owners Nancy and Keith Kouris as he presented them with a proclamation thanking them for their investment in the re-development of the downtown area. “Riverhead is on fire as far as I can tell and it’s just going to keep burning down the street.”

The bakery will offer samples of its baked goods, including bread, soups and sandwiches throughout this weekend as it celebrates its grand opening.

WLNG will broadcast live from the bakery location between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and people are invited to come down to show their “Best Cake Face” for a photograph.

The Blue Duck Bakery Café started in 1999 in Southampton by Mr. and Ms. Kouris and expanded to a second location in Southold Town in 2008.

gvolpe@timesreview.com

11/20/12 12:00pm
11/20/2012 12:00 PM

BARBARELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Blue Duck Bakery owwner Keith Kouris (left) and manager Victoria Bragg at the new Riverhead location.

When Blue Duck Bakery owners Nancy and Keith Kouris of Aquebogue started their first bakery in Southampton 14 years ago they found an empty storefront right in the downtown and their business was born.

It started with a simple premise: “Every village needs a bakery.”

That motto led the couple, who also own a Blue Duck in Southold, to open their newest location in Riverhead.

The couple, speaking Tuesday morning from their new location on East Main Street, said they frequented several bakeries growing up in Lindenhurst. And after they got married and moved to Bay Shore and Shirley, there were bakeries close by.

The Riverhead bakery opened it doors Sunday morning for what manager Victoria Bragg of Baiting Hollow said was a “soft opening.”

“The people that were coming in were very excited, because they have been waiting for so long,” Ms. Bragg said. “The most popular item was our artisanal bread.”

Mr. Kouris said his bread has a great reputation.

“We are known all over from Montauk to Manhattan for our bread,” he said. “We have about 80 wholesale customers that we deliver to during the week and about 120 on the weekends.”

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A dozen employees have been hired for the Blue Duck location on East Main Street.

The Riverhead location will have six full-time and six part-time employees and feature 20 kinds of artisanal bread all baked in the Southold bakery’s 12-by-12 ovens.

When the Kouris’ moved from Patchogue to Aquebogue four years ago that said they were well aware of what was going on in downtown Riverhead. They started looking for a spot to open a bakery and it took about two years to find one. With a broad grin on his face Mr. Kouris is happy to say “now I only have an eight-minute commute.”

They are still waiting for the menu boards to arrive and the chairs for the cafe tables. He noted that Superstorm Sandy delayed a lot of the deliveries.

“But we were the lucky ones,” he said. “The delay is nothing.”

And he hopes to have the cafe running after Thanksgiving with soups, salads and sandwiches available.

Now that the wait is over, the Kouris’ are happy to have a bakery in their own village.

“We knew a bakery had to be a part of the community,” he said.

It is open Monday to Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

They still have plans to open a production facility in Riverside with and outlet center and eventually a Blue Duck Bakery and Cafe.

“Hopefully we will be a catalyst to get things rolling over there,” Ms. Kouris said.

photo@timesreview.com

11/19/12 7:00am
11/19/2012 7:00 AM

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | The Blue Duck Bakery had hoped to be open in summer, but now it will finally open its doors, just in time for the holidays.

The Blue Duck Bakery is open for business in downtown Riverhead, just in time for the holidays.

Owner Nancy Kouris told the News-Review her bakery, which also has locations in Southold and Southampton,  will open its doors for a soft opening Monday. She said she hopes to roll out the bakery’s cafe menu by Friday.

A complete grand opening is two to three weeks away.

“We’re still waiting to get a few things done,” she said in an email Sunday. “But our bakery case is full, we have fresh bread and the coffee is all ready.”

The new shop is located on East Main Street, next to Ralph’s Italian Ices.