Those who crave organic meals will have twice the opportunity to stock up on ingredients or sit in for a healthy bite to eat. By spring, Naturally Good Foods & Cafe in Montauk will open a second location just a stone’s throw from its current location on South Etna Avenue.
Owners Lauren Katz and Andrea Mavro purchased the MTK Cafe at 779 Montauk Highway last spring and are planning big things for the new space, which can accommodate 99 customers.
“We know that Montauk is going through this trendy era as well, as a health food trend, and thought we have trendy food in a trendy location—we knew we were going to be really busy,” Ms. Katz said. “Last winter we tried to prepare and thought about what we could do in a larger location. We weren’t actively looking, but we knew that MTK was going to become available. The more we looked into it, the more excited we got about the idea of not being so limited by space.”
The women, who purchased the present business from a sister team, Amy and Lori Hubbard, have made the best out of their 800-square-foot building, which only has 10 seats inside.
“The building has a history—it’s off the beaten path a little bit,” Ms. Katz said. Since 1985, the store has sold a variety of organic produce and groceries, cosmetics, vitamins and herbs, and a full service breakfast and lunch menu. The Naturally Good cafe is known for its fresh fruit, vegetable juices, smoothies, salads and organic coffee and teas, as well as vegan baked goods. Also on the menu are homemade soups, veggie burgers, stir-fries, burritos and wraps.
“We’ve got the best of both worlds here,” Ms. Katz said. “We talk and eat good food and come up with new food ideas and [Ms. Mavro] cooks them to share with Montauk. It’s been hard but mostly exciting because it’s been very busy.”
Ms. Katz has a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from New York University, while Ms. Mavro graduated from Cornell University as well as the Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan. When they were both 26, five years ago, they approached the Hubbard sisters and asked, “Hey, you want to sell?” Ms. Katz said. “We wanted to do something together. The more and more they thought about it, they thought it might be a good idea.”
Things have gotten so busy, Ms. Katz said, that the expansion of the business will allow Naturally Good Foods to act not only as a grab-and-go, but as a restaurant, where diners can sit awhile and enjoy dinner.
Ms. Katz said the new location will stay open later, during dinner hours, and the original location will be where people can pick up prepared salads, sandwiches, snacks and order juices or smoothies. She said their most popular item—their fish taco—will be available every day now, and they’re “toying with the idea” of offering organic beer and wine.
A friend of the women, Jose Lozano from Queens, said on Friday that he had just heard the news. He congratulated the “magnificent duo.”
“It is amazing to have a small business on Main Street and call it home,” he said. “It’s going to be a sensation. It’s 110 percent of everything—of all their dreams coming true.”
With many changes to take place in the next few months, one thing won’t change—Oink, a pig that wanders downtown Montauk, will still be able to stop by Naturally Good Foods, her favorite food store.
“We have a garden, the customers are really nice to her and she’s smart because she comes back for more,” Ms. Katz said. “I think she’ll be happy we’re not leaving the old place.”