Widgets Magazine

North Fork Grown Jennifer DiVello on her New Cutchogue Store Revel North Fork, and its Roots

Q: Your store is a new arrival to downtown Cutchogue. How did you come to open Revel North Fork? A: Revel North Fork, the store, came out of Vestige Vintage, a small shop that we opened last year at Patty’s Berries and Bunches in Mattituck. Prior to Vestige Vintage, I had created The Ice Cream Patch, also located Patty’s Berries and Bunches.

Revel North Fork

Q: What’s Patty’s Berries and Bunches and The Ice Cream Patch?

A: Well, Patty is my mom, and she’s a farmer. Patty’s Berries & Bunches is her U-Pick berry and flower farm, except it’s not just berries and flowers. She does U-Pick peas too, and grows other crops as well.

In trying to accommodate Patty’s visitors as best we can, I began thinking what our visitors might be interested in after picking and what could we do with all the produce from the farm. After being out in the field, folks like to cool off afterwards and that is how we married our crops with ice cream.

Little Dean

Q: So what kinds of flavors do you have at The Ice Cream Patch?

A: Oh, we have lots of interesting ones. Every time something comes into season on the farm, we introduce a flavor, like rosemary, sugar snap pea or corn in the cone. We also do a Peachy Patty, a raspberry, a blueberry, a strawberry and a honey nut with local honey. Those are the safe flavors, honey nut and strawberry—if you don’t want to be daring and try, say, lemon basil, or something.

Ice Cream Arrangement

We started that maybe four years ago. It started taking off after a year. While we always served scoops, now you can find our ice cream in prepackaged ‘to-go’ cups at Revel too. Because everything is so seasonal and local, all our production is small batch so you just can’t get it anywhere else.

Q: Ok, so The Ice Cream Patch started it all, but then you mentioned Vestige Vintage. What’s that?

A: My husband and I enjoy antique picking as a hobby; every time we would travel, we would get stuff at antique shops and auctions. We started selling it at the farm in a barn, under the name Vestige Vintage.  We wanted our shop to be more than antiques; we wanted more home made, fresh product too.

I find everybody likes ice cream, and most people like candles, things that smell pretty. Soy candles hadn’t  really been explored as a market; I thought there was room to do something really original and appealing. So I thought I’d try making soy candles using fresh ingredients from the farm, the same produce we would use for the ice cream. The candles were a big hit.

Candles

Now I make them in the kitchen we installed at Revel North Fork, but we might expand to a new a location for the candle making because demand is so high.

Q: What flavors—scents I guess—are your candles?

A: Some of our best sellers are basil mint, made using local basil and mint, and milk and honey made with local honey. Lavender is really popular too. We just introduced a North Fork inspired candle made with local seaweed and people like that. This week or next we’re going to introduce our tomato flavored candle, ‘Off The Vine’. We’re aiming for that distinct tomato plant smell.

Getting the scent right takes some experimenting. We did a sweet pea last year, but it was almost too sweet, it smelled fake even though it was made with sweet pea grown at Patty’s Berries and Bunches. This year we replaced it with Coral Charm, which is a type of peony she grows. That smells and sells much better.

Candle Arrangement

That flower only blooms in June, so we’re running out of this year’s batch. Once these last few coral charm candles are sold, we won’t have more until next year.   We generally have six flavors during the year, though during the winter we have fewer flavors because we don’t have as much produce. Late crops include figs, pumpkins, squash, and I was able to save some blackberries last year too for a ‘Winter Berry’ candle.

I find it a little bit ironic. I went to school for industrial design, and here I am making an ancient technology.

Q: You mentioned that your candles are soy candles. Why?

A: Soy candles last nearly three times as long, and they burn very cleanly. It doesn’t get that black, smoky residue on the sides as other wax bases have. It’s not petroleum based like paraffin and it’s much healthier to breathe.

I find that soy cleans up well, it’s very forgiving and it comes out with hot water. Bees wax is denser and I imagine it might be harder to clean up but I’m still interested in experimenting with it. I think it would be cute to have the milk and honey candle out of beeswax. But I’m really happy with soy for now.

Q: So at Patties Berries & Bunches I can get fresh fruit & flowers or pick my own, and I can find The Ice Cream Patch and Vestige Vintage which sells antiques and candles.  And now you’ve got Revel New York, here in downtown Cutchogue. What can I get at Revel North Fork?

A: In addition to candles and antiques, we offer a lot of locally inspired clothing, from our North Fork Threads line. I design each and every piece and they are then printed on high quality apparel, such as American Apparel shirts.

North Fork Threads_NF Anchor

The American-made, high quality matters to me. We also sell baby clothes with the graphics I design - those have turned into some of our biggest sellers.

Little Abigail

At Patty’s, we get a lot of tourists, so our “NoFo Grown” t-shirts don’t always sell there, but they do at our Cutchogue location, where we are proud to have a more local crowd.  To better serve our local crowd and our women customers more generally, we are expanding our products into more fashion. Right now we have beautiful handmade leather clutches and will be adding a line of comfortable day-to-evening wear, and more jewelry.

We also make custom bath salts infused with local produce like lavender using sea salt by Amagansett Sea Salt Company.

Q: The glass is strikingly beautiful and also an unusual product line. Why this glass?

A: This glass dips into the industrial design background I have. Anything made today has nowhere near the quality than it when it was made in the 20s through the 60s; now they are making cheaper reproductions.

Westmoreland Pitcher Set

For example, I have a couple friends who work for well-known designers.  They are commonly sent to different antique stores to find things that are inspiring, and then they try to make them for a quarter of the price.  Not copies exactly but designs that are inspired by the original antiques.

So the glass I sell is the original good stuff, there are no reproductions to be found at Revel North Fork. When looking for glass to stock, I try to get something that I think is still useful today, not simply stuff to put on your shelf to look at.

Vintage Wine Glasses

We don’t just buy things because they’re old. We like things that have a purpose, are still useful today and were modern looking when they were made.

Q: You’re mom’s a local farmer, so you must have grown up out here? Where did you study industrial design?

A: I went to and graduated from Parsons at the New School in Manhattan.

Q: Why did you come back to the North Fork?

A: The fresh air, family and friends plus the fact that this is home to me. I have a very special grandmother, Fran, and mom who needed a lot of help with her farm. All of those relationships are very important to me.