The Baker’s Workshop, a downtown Riverhead bakery operated by Suffolk County Community College culinary students, has closed its doors for summer. This is the first time since the bakery opened in 2008 that it has closed at the end of the spring semester.
School administrators said the reason for the closure is two-fold: the East Main Street building will be undergoing some renovations this summer and the program has had difficulty finding student interns to staff it, as many culinary students are scheduled to study abroad in Florence, Italy.
In an effort to keep the Baker’s Workshop visible in the busy season, it will be open on four evenings for the popular Alive on 25 series, which kicks off Thursday, July 13.
“We want to be part of the community and we don’t want people to forget that we are here over the summer,” said Laureen Gauthier, SCCC’s new culinary program director.
Student interns operate the Baker’s Workshop under the supervision of full-time coordinator pastry chef Christina DeLustro. She said the Baker’s Workshop was created when students had difficulty finding placement in internships elsewhere. At the bakery, the students not only fine tune their skills by focusing on cake decorating, but also gain customer service experience by working in the retail store.
While the bakery offers a variety of pastries, cakes, cookies and more, the main product it will supply for this year’s Alive on 25 series is homemade gelato.
Ms. DeLustro said gelato has been one of the program’s best sellers during past summers. The sweet treat is created from her own recipes, with flavors like cookies and cream, coconut and mint chocolate chip.
“We’re excited for people to come in and see the Baker’s Workshop, especially for people who’ve never come in to try our products,” Ms. DeLustro said.
The Baker’s Workshop will reopen for normal business during the fall semester, Ms. Gauthier said.
“We’re looking forward to a strong fall and having folks come and join us again,” she added.
Top photo: Students at the Baker’s Workshop making fresh biscotti earlier this month. (Credit: Krysten Massa)