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Gurney's Beach Bakery bites now at Stop & Shop

Jorge Bello, the head baker at Gurney's Beach

Jorge Bello, the head baker at Gurney's Beach Bakery, holds a selection of goods available at the bakery counter in Montauk and at stores across Long Island. (Aug. 3, 2012) Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Gurney's Beach Bakery is no longer just for those visiting the shore.

Gurney's Inn, the historic beachfront hotel in Montauk that also owns the Beach Bakery, has started selling its bakery's cakes wholesale to grocery store chain Stop & Shop. Gurney's bake shop is now in 11 Stop & Shop stores across the Island, making the popular pastries -- once only accessible after a long drive out east -- available closer to home.

"We wanted to bring a little bit of that special Montauk feeling to other parts of the island," Gurney's chief executive and manager Paul Monte said. "Gurney's is an institution; we have a reputation that covers the entire Island and the bakery is one way for us to get our name out there."

While the resort has always had a well-loved bakery, with traditional favorites such as carrot cake and a chocolate truffle cake, known as Death by Chocolate, Gurney's only began selling wholesale pastries about six years ago after clients began asking if they would deliver. The Inn then sold pastries to local restaurants and food stores on the East End.

The move toward selling in larger food chains began a year ago, when bakery manager Kim Esperian was approached by a Stop & Shop bakery buyer.

"They just found us and they just love our product," Esperian said. "We had such a great standing in all the local stores, everyone really liked our quality control and punctuality and products, of course."

Since the end of May, the bakery has been delivering about a dozen varieties of its most popular cakes, including the carrot cake and chocolate truffle, to Stop & Shop three days a week. Mini-cakes start at $5.25, with larger cakes ranging from $15 to $95, and cookies start at a dollar each. Their current reach extends as far as Port Washington, and there are plans to sell cakes in at least 50 Stop & Shops on the Island by the end of the year.

Gurney's is not the first East End store to market its business as a brand name, however. Following in the footsteps of Tate's Bake Shop in Southampton, a store whose cookies now sell in several food chains, as well as Hampton Coffee Co. and North Fork Chips, Gurney's began first with a product that was popular in their on-site store and then at local stores before taking the plunge.

Stop & Shop representative Arlene Putterman said that she enjoyed visiting the Inn's bakery and was glad they'd be making their products more accessible to everyone. "Gurney's is a popular brand name on Long Island," she said, "and we're always open to merchandise new brands that the community is very familiar with."

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