Jams and jellies are a favorite gift to give (and receive) during the holiday season. Of course, it couldn’t get any better than hand crafted, small batch fruit preserves made from local East End ingredients. Melissa Sabbatino made the decision to start Peconic River Preserves in 2015, two years after she moved home from Boston.
While she did enjoy working as a public accountant in Boston, she chose to focus on her personal business venture that drew upon skills she learned and grew up with as a child. “My mom taught me how to make jam,” explains Sabbatino. “I grew up in a farming and fishing family, and was taught how to bake and cook at any early age. My dad grew up as a bayman, and we always had high quality local produce and seafood. Cooking was a family tradition.”
Sabbatino’s first flavor jarred was strawberry when she was young. What jumpstarted her business was her peach jam that she had originally made and given to friends and family as Christmas presents. Compliments flew her way rapidly and so the business was born.
“I have always been independent and had a solid work ethic,” adds Sabbatino. “[With establishing the business], I appreciated the skills I picked up from working in accounting and finance.”
The first places she began selling her jams were at Browder’s Birds and her first event was the Big Duck Memorial Day Fair, an arts and crafts fair. She also started selling this past summer at the Riverhead Farmer’s Market and the farmer’s market at the North Fork Table and Inn.
Some of Peconic River Preserves’s varieties include blueberry, peach, raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, and habanero sunrise. 9 oz jars are $10 each and she is working on smaller jars for the holidays. Spread her jams onto freshly baked scones and muffins, or incorporate the jam as an ingredient in butter cookies during the holidays. You may also add fresh fruit to the jam and pour it over ice cream.
https://www.facebook.com/peconicriverpreserves/ // 631-591-3874