Blue Duck owners: ‘Every village needs a bakery’

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.

[email protected]