After 20 years of city living and working, Robyn Coval, co-owner of Bowery Kitchen Supplies in New York City, decided to follow her dream and open a kitchen and restaurant supply shop in Laurel, NY, on the east end of Long Island. The store, Bowery Fork, is scheduled to open in May 2017.
Bowery Fork is a joint venture between Coval and her best friend, Lori Balter, owner of Balter Sales, a NYC-based wholesale restaurant supply company. The two women have known and worked together for 20 years, supplying cutlery, cookware, tableware and everything in between to home chefs and restaurants in their respective shop’s neighborhoods.
Bowery Fork, Coval explained, is their opportunity to become part of a community that they have both enjoyed spending time in through the years.
“I’ve been vacationing in the North Fork of Long Island for 17 years and wanted to be a part of the community. It’s a farm community and still a strong mom-and-pop-owned store community. We wanted to do something that would be feeding the community with what we think it is missing,” she said.
Coval explained that the area is dotted with local residents and those who own vacation homes, as well as restaurants and wineries and the women felt there was a void for kitchen supplies nearby.
“Especially with so many entertaining in their summer houses – you are cooking for all these people and if you’re missing something, you have to drive far to find what you need. We hope to be a source for their quick needs,” she said, adding that she is hoping to also fill that void for the commercial clientele, as the store will also carry a variety of equipment for commercial operations.
With this second store, Coval said she decided to create a “lean version” of the NYC-based Bowery Kitchen Supplies and gear the merchandise towards restaurants with a friendly vibe for the home chef. In addition, the store is about a quarter of the size of Bowery Kitchen Supplies, so they have to keep stock tight.
For example, Coval said when it came to cutlery, she started with her “star players.” Then she filled in by curating her best-sellers from the restaurant service industry that will also have the potential to cross over to home use.