making waves

It was only a few months ago when news broke that The Riverhead Project, a new restaurant, was coming to downtown Riverhead. But it was in this spark of life that Marissa Rose found the inspiration she needed to open a new business of her own.

And move hundreds of miles to do it.

"I believe in small businesses helping small businesses," said Rose, who came from the Syracuse area to open her new shop, Blend Consignment Boutique. Blend will be located across the Peconic River in Riverside, next to The Junque Shop consignments and antique store on Route 104. Her grand opening is slated for April 29.

"It takes someone to break the ice," she said. "I read about The Riverhead Project, and I decided to research the area. When I did that, I found the space. I see the potential in the area, and I just want to be part of it."

Dennis McDermott - the proprietor of The Riverhead Project who opened The Frisky Oyster close to 10 years ago in Greenport, which was followed by a revival of sorts there - was excited to hear that his business led to Rose's interest in Riverhead.

"I wanted to start the wave, create the wave," he said. "I see a lot of potential in Riverhead. Two years from now, I think it will be hard to find an open storefront on Main Street."

After renting the space, located past the traffic circle across from the State Police Station, Rose completely renovated it to complete the boutique feel she wanted for her store.

"It was the first space I looked at, and I think the owner of The Junque Shop (Thea Cohen) is an extremely nice, great person. Plus, she already has customers coming to see her shop. So I'll build on her customer base, and basically, share with her."

Blend Consignment Boutique will specialize in designer brands like Lilith's, Don Caster, Walter Baker, Moschimo, many of which Rose said won't be available at the Tanger Outlet Mall.

"Consigment stores benefit anyone who enjoys quality designer labels," Rose said. "You can get twice as much, for half the price."

Although this will be the first store Rose has owned on her own, she does have retail experience. A native of upstate New York, she worked in her family's high end boutique previously.

"I have a lot of clothes that I've been collecting. They will fill the store space to begin with, but I will also be taking consigments on a 50/50 basis," she said.

Over time, Rose said she really hopes to see her business grow. "I believe in the area. Eventually, I would love to move on to Main Street," she said.

The Riverhead Project's McDermott believes Main Street is definitely the place to be.

"I see restaurants and boutiques, tons of stuff," said McDermott, who informally refers to downtown Riverhead as 'the district.'

"Riverhead is a gateway to the East End," he said. "If you are coming in from Nassau County, you can stop here before heading out to the Hamptons or to the vineyards."

For more information about Blend Consignment Boutique or to make an appointment for consignments, contact Marissa Rose at 631-603-8293.