(This article first appeared in the September 13, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)
Shop local is more than a motto; it’s a way of life. Long Island’s East End is a community that helps local businesses thrive through countless partnerships, and Taste the East End Boutique helps to bring it all together.
Situated next door to the Hyatt East End, at 489 East Main Street in Riverhead, in partnership with Hyatt, the Long Island Aquarium, and a shop at MacArthur Airport, the store was established during the summer of 2016. Customers should not be misled by the name, as product ranges from gourmet foods to candles, skincare, tote bags, and much more. All catering to its customers while supporting local markets, the artisan-crafted goods are all produced in New York, with a large focus on the greater LI region.
Alexandra Bussi is the store designer and manager. The boutique has an airy décor emulating the serene surroundings of the North Fork. Upon entering the doors you’ll oftentimes see Bussi behind the counter — the restored bed of a Ford pick-up truck. By her side, her Pomeranian, Lola, enthusiastically greets customers.
“It’s great to support the talented makers in our areas,” Bussi said. “With fall coming up, our sweatshirts from Carleton Clothing, North Fork Design, and Hampton Trading Company have been selling very well. The really popular items would have to be locally-made soaps from White Field Farm and Southampton Soap.”
Walk toward the left for jewelry, edibles, bath products, and glasses. Toward the right, pick up wall décor or don your favorite shirt design. An astounding 45 merchants currently sell in the space, which is continuously growing as the months progress. Bussi seeks out new businesses regularly, with a special affinity for the uniquely presented.
“I am obsessed with a face scrub from East End Soap that leaves my face silky smooth and smelling like sugar. It’s nice to have somewhere to get some local goodies throughout the island,” Bussi admitted.
Visit to enjoy all the goodies our community, and beyond, have to offer. For you, for a friend, and especially for an out-of-towner looking for the perfect parting gift.
Call Taste the East End Boutique at 631-727-2686, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @Taste the East End.