WEEKEND ACTIVITY: Discover an East End Food Startup

From sorbet to oysters, there is a bumper crop of food startups that hit the streets just in time for summer. From sorbet to oysters, here’s how we’re re stocking our summer pantry.

Sorbabes, based in Sag Harbor, made in Queens. Perfect for your icebox.

Sorbabes, based in Sag Harbor, made in Queens. Perfect for your icebox.

The East End in July always inspires such a smorgasbord of new food and drink options that it’s hard to keep track. The roads are crawling with media monkeys and marketing mavens decamped from Gotham, hawking coconut water, kale chips and ginger beer. Even better, as farms and wineries put in commercial kitchens and good costermongers update their shelves, there is no shortage of seasonally appropriate, locally made goodies, perfect for snacking at the beach or augmenting your home pantry. Here’s a short list. (Did we miss something? Let us know at [email protected], or comment below.)

Sweet and cold. Ice cream and other frozen treats become an essential food group during the dog days of summer. Joe and Liza’s has popped up in recent years, as well as new flavors at favorite scoop joints like Magic Fountain in Mattituck. But right now we’re sweet on Gourmet Sorbet by the Sorbabes. This new sorbet maker, based in Sag Harbor and made in Astoria, has hit the ground running, with its white-tank-topped staff peddling formidable flavor combos like pistachio-sea salt-caramel crunch, chocolate-strawberry, and lychee-passionfruit. (Look out for a strawberry-rhubarb-oatmeal crumble option out later this summer.) Sorbabes is sold at many local grocers, gourmet shops, and farmers markets, including the Hayground Farmers market on Fridays and at Cavaniola’s Gourmet in Sag Harbor.

Crunchy and healthy. As food processing emerges as a growth industry on Long Island, we are spying several new granola makers, many using local fruit, honey and other ingredients. On our recent trip to the Watermill Center, we tasted Healing Home granola (out of Amityville), and at Cavaniola’s, we stumbled upon Tembatoo Granola, based in Sag Harbor and made in Huntington. We are finding granola to be a perfectly suitable beach snack, although potato chips go better with beer. (NOTE: Michael and Tracy Cavaniola are tireless curators of new products, and we often look to their shop for tips and tastes, including a new batch of gorgeous, durable American-made cutting boards, from Vermont and Philadelphia.)

To drink. We knew folks liked juice, especially the yoga, stand-up-paddleboard, road-biking set. But this season has brought a new juice joint to virtually every East End town, from the Juice Baby truck in Bridgehampton (parked near the Hayground farmers market; order ahead via their website) to Juice Lane in Wainscott to Simply Sublime (juices and much more) in East Hampton. Drink up. And if you’re looking for mixers, check out the Brooklyn-made syrups from Morris Kitchen (preserved lemon, ginger, rhubarb), carried at Cavaniola’s, and also profiled in our visit to Slow Food NYC’s spirit tasting.

From the sea. We’re suckers for anything briny, so we love new oyster brands like Montauk Pearls, Peconic Pearls and Naked Cowboys. Not mention startup CSFs like Dock-to-Dish. But the coolest startup we heard about, via our colleagues at Edible Long Island, is Thimble Island Oyster Co. This outfit is raising both oysters and kelp in Long Island Sound—the first aquaculture, polyculture we’ve heard of on the East Coast—in an ingenious setup they call 3D farming. Check out their Kickstarter campaign, as well as their kelp cocktails.

From the farm. A few weeks ago, the local garlic scape harvest came in and there’s a crush of scape pestos out there now. Our favorite has been the one from David Falkowski at Open Minded Organics. How do they get it so creamy? Is it the recipe or how they grow the garlic? Find Open Minded Organics at their farmstand on Butter Lane in Bridgehampton, or at Sag Harbor Farmers Market and several other East End farmers markets. And for those who like the convenience of the food coming to you, check out The Good Farm Delivery and Rustic Roots Delivery. Curating and delivering a weekly box of produce, bread, flowers and other locally sourced items, these two local companies are part of the emergent home-grocery-delivery space. Kinda like Peapod by Stop and Shop, if it were run by a locavore.

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Brian is the editor in chief of Edible East End, Edible Long Island, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. He writes from his home in Sag Harbor, New York, where he and his family tend a home garden and oysters. He is also obsessed with ducks, donuts and dumplings.