Two brothers are giving a historic farm stand on the Main Road in Aquebogue a new lease on life.
Longtime local residents will remember the farm stand as Skelly’s. Once owned and operated by Skelly Doroski, it dates back to 1937.
It became the Wells Homestead farm stand about 20 years ago. Last year, it was vacant and a “for rent” sign caught the eye of Emil Breitenbach Jr.
The 28-year-old Aquebogue man has farming in his blood. His father, a third generation farmer, worked on the family farm — alongside his own father “until my grandfather decided to give it up in the late 80s and my dad had to get another career,” Breitenbach said. Emil Sr. went on to become a Riverhead Town police officer, but he always kept a hand in farming and Emil Jr. and his younger brother Kyle would often tag along to the farms where Emil Sr. had part-time employment.
“So this has always been in the back of my mind,” Emil Jr. said. He’s worked at local farms since graduating from Riverhead High School in 2009.
When the “for rent” sign went up on the old Skelly place, he inquired.
He was surprised to learn that the current owner Gloria Doroski, whose husband Skelly operated the farm stand, was a relative. Her maiden name was Breitenbach. So it goes with North Fork farming families.
That’s how Breitenbach Farms was born. Emil Jr. and Kyle, 22, decided to go into business together. They leased the farm stand, situated on about two acres, as well as some farmland in Baiting Hollow. They’re growing vegetables and plan to have a U-pick pumpkin patch in the fall.
The Breitenbach brothers — with a lot of help from their father and their mother Diane — have spent several months renovating and painting the old farm stand, working to spruce it up and get ready for their grand opening this weekend — in time for Mother’s Day.
The 840-square-foot building is being stocked with fresh produce, potted plants, jams, local honey and baked goods — plus refreshments like soft drinks, and hot coffee.
“We’ll be stocking everything local that’s in season,” Breitenbach said.
Breitenbach Farms will be open from May through at least November — maybe in December for Christmas trees, too, he said.
The stand will be open 9 am to 7 p.m. daily. All major credit cards are accepted, along with Apply Pay and Google Pay.
The brothers are working on launching a delivery app and plan to start a delivery service in the near future, Emil Jr. said.
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