The Work We Do: Steve Amaral, North Fork Chocolate Company

I’m Steve Amaral. I’m the chef and co-owner of North Fork Chocolate Company in Aquebogue.

We started our business in 2013. We started our business at the Stony Brook Incubator in Calverton. We’ve been here five years now.

I do catering on the East End. I’ve been doing that for 20 years now. I was always off in the winter because our catering was during the summer of course, April through December. I was meditating on it one day and I got one message and the word was ‘chocolate’ so I went online and started looking on how to make chocolate.

We inventory our counter every day, and then we make a prep list for the week.

We do bonbons, we have chocolate machines that keep the chocolate moving and tempered … We have a big wheel on each machine and then we make truffles. It depends on the needs of the season. In the summertime, we make ice cream at Goodale Farms using their dairy cow milk and we also have fudge.

We have a retail space and also event space where we do fondue parties, chocolate fountains, belgian waffles and demos.

Once we get through the Christmas craziness, selling all the hollow reindeers and Santa Clauses, we take a two-week January break and we get right into Valentine production.

We’ll maybe make 20,000 pieces of chocolate in like, three weeks.

People can order online. We do a lot of shipping across the country. We’ve shipped our products to Europe and as far as Hawaii.

I’m of Sicilian and Portuguese heritage so we’re always cooking. When you’re five years old, you get set up on the kitchen counter, you start rolling meatballs and stirring the pasta and stirring the sauce. Then, when I was 14 I got a job in a Chinese restaurant as a bus boy and prep guy.

When I graduated high school, I went to Johnson & Wales University. I’ve been cooking ever since.

I enjoy the craziness. It’s about taking care of people. I like to see people’s reaction. It’s gratifying to me when they enjoy the art, or the flavors, textures that we do. And just the hustle and bustle and creative part. It’s my artistic outlet.

North Fork Chocolate is located at 740 Main Rd, Aquebogue.

“The Work We Do” is a News-Review multimedia project profiling workers around Riverhead Town. It is made possible by Peconic Landing in Greenport. See more photos on Instagram @riverheadnewsreview