Love Lane Market gets ready for grand opening celebration

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Lisa Federico (from left) of Remsenburg and friend Janice Biondo of Merrick with sons Nicolas Biondo, 10, and Cole Federico, 9, at Love Lane Market in Mattituck.

Two months after Love Lane Market quietly opened its doors, the new specialty food market will host its official grand opening this weekend.

Owners Mike and Patti Avella opened the market in early August in the former Village Market location, next door to their Love Lane Kitchen.

With the market’s general manager, Siran Libretto, the Avellas have planned tastings and demonstrations for the official market debut. Ms. Libretto has been scouring suppliers’ offerings all summer looking for food free of chemicals, nitrates and high fructose corn syrup.

“Our vision is bringing food back to the way it was 100 years ago,” she said as she greeted customers last Friday afternoon. “People go into a supermarket trusting that the food they buy will be healthy for them. There’s no guarantee of that. But here people can trust that we’ve done the hard work. I can truly stand behind that.”

Over Columbus Day weekend, the market’s suppliers will be giving out samples and discussing their wares. The list includes Steve’s Ice Cream, Sweet Andy’s Cookies, Urbani Truffles and Pure Cool sparkling water. Representatives from Parma Cotta will give a talk on prosciutto and Love Lane Market will offer pizza- and pasta-making demonstrations. Chef Keith Luce of Luce + Hawkins Restaurant will offer samples of his own Peconic Bay sea salt, local honey, duck sauces and elixirs.

The market has been taking requests on its Facebook page all summer on what customers would like to see in the market.

“The butcher was hands-down the number one request,” said Ms. Libretto. “This area doesn’t have a good butcher.”

In addition to providing prime cuts of meat, the market will also provide fresh cow’s and goat’s milk in glass bottles from Goodale Dairy.

Mr. Avella said he was surprised by how many people asked for gluten-free products.

“I’d never been militant about organic products,” he said. “But now I’m really concerned about the correlation between pesticides and kid diseases. Our food is so bombarded. I never paid a lot of attention to that, but I’m coming around.”

The Avellas “took a big gamble doing this. It’s scary being the groundbreaker,” said Ms. Libretto. “There’s nothing like this on the North Fork. We’re really trying to raise the bar. But there are a lot of awesome parents coming in, looking to give their kids a better life out here, and they’re used to Union Market or Whole Foods. We get hipster moms coming in with babies looking for baby food. I was expecting them to go west at the end of the summer, but they haven’t. That’s good for the local economy, getting young families out here.”

As if on cue, Lisa Federico of Remsenberg, a young mother, introduced herself to Ms. Libretto.

“I told Mike that I’ve been looking everywhere for Thai spring roll wrappers,” she said. “I found them here.”

Ms. Federico, a regular at the Love Lane Kitchen, loves to prepare Indian, Asian and Afghani food at home. And her young son, Cole, was excited to come to Mattituck for his favorite meal at the Kitchen: duck tangine.

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