An employee at Satur Farms packs squash blossoms into containers...

An employee at Satur Farms packs squash blossoms into containers on Aug. 6, 2007. The operation is expanding in New York, state officials said Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Credit: Adam Richins

Satur Farms LLC, a grower of specialty vegetables, is expanding its warehouse on the East End rather than in Florida, state officials said Wednesday.

The Cutchogue-based company produces baby lettuce, spinach, arugula and other vegetables on the North Fork and in Florida. It supplies Whole Foods, Fresh Direct, Pret a Manger restaurants and wholesalers.

To meet increased demand, Satur is in the midst of $810,550 in improvements to its warehouse in Calverton. The facility is used to process and pack vegetables for shipping.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday the state would provide a $120,000 grant for new equipment for the warehouse. The money had been approved last week by the board of directors of Empire State Development, the state's primary business-aid agency.

Satur had considered moving the warehouse to Florida, where it also has a 200-acre farm.

Andrea Lohneiss, regional director for Empire State Development, said Satur had promised to protect 21 jobs and create another 10 by 2017 in return for the grant. She also said the project was among a handful on the East End that are designed to boost farming.

Empire board member Joyce Miller, chief executive of the consulting firm Tier One Public Strategies Ltd. in Manhattan, said, "Given the history of agriculture on Long Island and the decline of agriculture on Long Island, it is refreshing to see something is being done to encourage the maintenance of the agriculture industry there."

Satur was founded in 1997 by Eberhard Müller and his wife, Paulette. Müller was executive chef and part owner of the Manhattan restaurant Lutèce before it closed.

Paulette Satur was appointed by Cuomo in 2011 to the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, which devised a five-year jobs plan for the region and recommends projects for state aid. Officials said she did not participate in the council's deliberations about Satur's warehouse expansion. She wasn't immediately available to comment Wednesday.

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