After farming in Jamesport for four generations, the Zaweski family has decided to open a store in downtown Riverhead.
Emilie Zaweski of MKZ Farms said she plans to open Farmers Kitchen next door to Blue Duck Bakery, in the space previously occupied by Papa John’s Pizza on East Main Street.
During a Riverhead Industrial Development Agency meeting Monday, Ms. Zaweski said the store’s slogan will be “from farm to jar.”
“It’s pretty simple,” she said. “We are setting up a local processing kitchen where we are going to be offering the community a wide variety of preserved local produce in many different forms.”
She said the store will offer fruits, vegetables, local jams and jellies, honey and lavender and that all items will have at least one local ingredient.
“If there is, for example, a pink grapefruit-rhubarb jelly, obviously grapefruit is not local but the rest of the ingredients will be,” she said. “Our main goal is to sell preserved products.”
The Farmers Kitchen application was before the IDA on Monday because the three-store building had received IDA tax incentives several years ago and a condition of that earlier decision requires that the IDA approve any future tenants.
On Monday, Ms. Zaweski’s application was unanimously approved.
In an interview after the meeting, she said the store’s processing kitchen will be available to other local farmers. She’ll run the business with a production manager and few employees while her husband, Mark, continues to run the farm, she added.
She hopes to open the store by mid-April and plans to keep it open year-round.
This type of business is a new venture for the family and Ms. Zaweski said she believes there’s a large demand for such a facility among local farmers.
“We hope to grow out of this location in a few years,” she said.
Photo: Farmers Kitchen is moving next to Blue Duck Bakery in downtown Riverhead. (Credit: Tim Gannon)