A Taste of North Fork
53975 Main Rd. Southold, New York 631-765-8760
You could say that Jeri Woodhouse's job is to extend Long Island's growing season. At her shop, A Taste of the North Fork, summer's bounty is preserved and pickled so that her customers can enjoy beets from Orient's Latham Farms or asparagus from Riverhead's Wells Farm on their Christmas tables -- or in their Christmas stockings. Not to mention local corn relish, dilly beans, jarred tomatoes, herb jellies and much more.
Woodhouse moved to the North Fork in 1991 and before long was making dressings, sauces and soups for local farm stands. Could she use some of the farms' produce to make preserves for the farm stands to sell? Yes, indeed. And she also said yes to wineries that wanted to sell jellies made from their own vintages.
This was getting serious. Woodhouse took classes to learn the science of preserving, got her license from the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, and in 2004 moved the operation out of her kitchen and into a production facility in Cutchogue. In 2009, she (and former partner Jayne McCahill) opened a retail store on Peconic Lane in Peconic which sold products with her own A Taste of the North Fork label. The shop was a little jewel box, but its off-the-beaten-path location was a constant challenge. "Every day, people who lived on the North Fork would wander in and tell us that they never realized we were here," Woodhouse said.
And so, on Nov. 23, A Taste of the North Fork moved to Southold's main drag, just in time for the holiday season, during which it is open seven days a week until Christmas Eve.
Photo: Jeri Woodhouse is the owner of Taste of the North Fork in Peconic. (Sept. 11, 2012)