Cavaniola's may be the least centrally located specialty market on Long Island. Yet, perched as it is in Sag Harbor, at the upper reaches of the South Fork, it draws year-round business from all over. "One guy comes every week from Rockville Centre," said co-owner Michael Cavaniola. "We have stuff that no one else has."
Cavaniola's stocks cheeses that are rare even in their countries of origin. Among more popular cheeses, the store carries only the top of the line. "Everyone has Stilton; this one is Colston Basset, England's premier Stilton," he said, showing off a gorgeous specimen. "This Gorgonzola," he regarded another beauty, "is true, raw-milk Cremificato."
Michael, an architect, and his wife, Tracey, moved from Manhattan to Sag Harbor and opened their cheese store in 2003. A wine shop followed in 2007, and in 2009 they opened Cavaniola's Kitchen, specializing in prepared foods. All three establishments (collectively known as Cavaniola's Gourmet) are located in a shopping center on the outskirts of downtown.
Not only do grateful Islanders make their way to Cavaniola's, but the store has cultivated connoisseurship among locals. "We have teachers here on their way to school," Cavaniola said, "and guys coming to Sag Harbor Beverage for a case of beer, too."
Cavaniola's carries about 200 cheeses at any given time, along with imported oils and vinegars, truffle honey, house-made preserved lemons, breads and crackers, sausages and hams, cheese implements and serving pieces. "It's funny how much stuff we manage to sneak into 400 square feet," said Cavaniola. "It's like a dorm room." -- Erica Marcus (Newsday / June 9, 2011)
Michael Cavaniola, co-owner of Cavaniola's Cheese Shop in Sag Harbor, stands behind his cheese counter. (May 30, 2011)
9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday-Saturday; Noon-4 p.m. Sunday; closed Tuesday.
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