Business is flourishing at this fall season- the Bayport health foods store expanded services to include a kitchen and freshly made organic goodies.
Owner and Bayport resident Rita Palma said the addition of a full kitchen and food display case enhances the experience for customers. The new features were an instant hit, Palma said.
“We started out making hummus and fresh prep foods,” Palma said. “They went over really well, so we decided to take it a step further. Now we make all kinds of things.”
The food menu changes every day, but everything is always fresh, organic and locally grown, said Palma. Don't just expect vegetarian options at Rita's, there are homemade chicken salads and other meaty prepped food made everyday, she said.
“I am always experimenting with different things,” Palma said. “I fulfill requests from customers and my employees are always suggesting things to make.”
Frequent customer, Beth Kraemer, of Patchogue said she appreciates the store's flexibility.
“Rita is very receptive to customer wishes," Kraemer said. "If she doesn’t have something, she will offer to make it for you, or order it.”
There will be numerous homemade food choices available for the holidays. Palma said she can prepare foods for Thanksgiving dinner, such as sweet potato pancakes and apple sauce- a customer favorite. Rita's Real Food is also taking orders for organic turkeys. Various desserts and homemade pies will be available around Christmas time.
The business started as a small farm stand at in Blue Point. Palma said it generated a lot of business and customers were asking for a bigger selection and .
“With Daisy Gardens, I had to either grow up or get out of the business” she said. “I was at a point in my life where I needed to do something and this was it. I couldn’t walk away because I knew there was such a good market for it.”
Palma said she has no desire to expand more, only enhance the space she has. In the future, Palma said she wants to have one or two tables in the window area of her store, so customers can sit and eat.
Though times are hard, Palma said you just have to constantly do things to bring people in. “You gotta hussle harder and do more with less,” Palma said. “These traits that we learn as far as how to survive will stay with us when times are healthier.”
Rita’s Real Foods is closed January- March, so go in and purchase your holiday favorites now.
Want to recommend a business to feature on Patch? E-mail emily@Patch.com