The divine aroma of bread — fresh from the oven — is sure to inspire smiles on East Main Street in Huntington. The rustic, home style baked goods of Duck Island Bread Company — long a mainstay at the Northport Farmers Market — have found a new home in the heart of Huntington, and founder and head baker Robert Biancavilla couldn’t be happier.
The new bakery opened its doors for business June 6 following a night of marathon baking by Biancavilla. His wife Sherri offered warm greetings to the steady stream of visitors, and special treats were available for the opening, including a chocolate Morning Bun, a decadent spiral of flaky croissant dough layered with rich chocolate.
“It’s exciting having a fixed place where people can come anytime they want and they know where you are,” Biancavilla says.
Duck Island Bread Company is an artisan bakery that promises to bake no bread before its time. Biancavilla excels at classic European breads, pastries, brioche, buns and pretzels that are given time to develop deep flavors, naturally, through fermentation. Biancavilla trained with master bakers from the United States, Canada, France and Germany, all while working his day job as deputy chief of the homicide bureau for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Biancavilla first launched the company in 2011, and for several years he produced his breads for the farmers market in a contract kitchen. His vast menu of breads and pastries has developed a loyal following. Newsday named Duck Island Bread Company best bread of 2014.
The new bakery is bright and inviting, the very picture of a modern, neighborhood boulangerie. Retro, industrial-style light fixtures illuminate the sumptuous selection of breads, buns and pastries as well as a counter space where visitors can see Biancavilla at work.
“For any baker, having your own space where essentially you can put things where you want them is really important,” he says. “This is my space where I’ll be able to bake the way I want to bake, and bake the things that I want to bake.”
Duck Island Bread Company is open Saturday’s from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Biancavilla is developing a variety of activities centered at the shop. This autumn, he plans a class called “Artisan Bread Baking for the Home Baker.”