Kristen Hanyo couldn’t help but tear up Friday morning when she saw the support her new business in downtown Riverhead had gotten.
Before she could open the doors to Privet’s Consignment Warehouse, a line of customers already stretched down Main Street in anticipation of the grand opening.
“I was just blown away today,” Ms. Hanyo said. “Just by the effort that went into this, the amount of support we got from our clients and our customers. We were getting flowers delivered.”
The new store at 54 E. Main St. formerly housed the Riverhead Indoor Farmers Market. On Friday afternoon, items all throughout the building — from couches to tables to lamps — were labeled with orange “SOLD” stickers as customers quickly claimed what they wanted to purchase.
Ms. Hanyo runs Privet Estate Sales, which she said is the leading estate sale company in the Hamptons. Just before the pandemic hit, a high-end client with a massive home needed an estate sale. Ms. Hanyo said she needed a warehouse to accommodate all the merchandise and she first set up in East Quogue. But she quickly grew out of that location.
“We kind of scrambled to find a great location and we figured Riverhead being the epicenter of the two forks, we could capitalize on what’s going on with real estate on the North Fork too,” she said.
The plans for the warehouse came together quickly in about two months, she said.
“Everything kind of fell together for us,” she said.
Ms. Hanyo grew up in Hampton Bays and currently lives in East Quogue. She looked at a few spots in Riverhead before settling in at the former farmers market. The inside of the building needed a bit of a facelift with painting, spackling and scrubbing, she said.
Ms. Hanyo has plenty of support from her family. Her sister, Nicole Burke, handles the merchandising for the store to set up everything in a way so customers can visualize how they can use an item.
“It’s a huge part of how this is successful, because she makes it look fantastic,” Ms. Hanyo said, noting her husband and other family members were all assisting at the store Friday.
The consignment warehouse allows customers the chance to purchase high quality items at low prices, Ms. Hanyo said. The product in the store will be constantly changing as items come and go.
The store will be open Thursday-Saturday.
Riverhead Town officials and the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce joined the staff for a ribbon cutting Friday to mark the grand opening. Supervisor Yvette Aguiar read a proclamation outside the entrance and said the addition of Privet will “quickly become a draw for both residents and visitors with its wide selection of unique and beautiful decor.”
Ms. Hanyo got her start in the consignment business by buying and selling antiques on eBay.
“It’s really a very cool business to work in,” she said. “To go into an estate and sell the contents of their home, you come across some fantastic things.”