MATTITUCK, N.Y. - At her specialty shop on the North Fork, Joanne Cosonas sees her customers transported.
"Both Greek and non-Greek customers that have been to Greece say, 'Oh, my god! This reminds me of a little shop in Greece,'" she said.
Agora The Little Greek Market stocks ingredients, baked goods, and gifts from the country of Joanne's ancestors. A guide to basic Greek phrases hangs on a wall near the register.
"We have a lot of Graecophiles that always inquire about the words and definitely, obviously, about the food," Joanne said.
Olive oil and feta cheese come in multiple varieties. Sweets include butter-almond cookies called kourabiedes as well as portokalopita, orange pie made with phyllo pastry.
The spanikopita, a savory spinach and cheese pie, is a popular item for lunch to go.
Housewares for sale include serving utensils made from Greek olive wood and mugs emblazoned with the words "World's Best Yiayia."
Having retired from a career in the fashion industry, she proposed the business idea to her husband Tony Medina, a former energy company analyst.
Though he felt somewhat intimidated, he embraced the opportunity, and the shop opened its doors in 2015.
"We've learned in a lot in having the store, and we have a lot of fun," he said.
The two work side by side, sometimes enlisting help from Joanne's sister Dorothy.
"I'm incredibly proud of my sister," Dorothy said. "It was a dream of hers for years, and she did it."
Joanne isn't the first shopkeeper in her family.
"My grandfather had a specialty Greek grocery store in a small village in Greece," she said. "My mother remembers working there when she was a little girl."
Her father's black-and-white photography adorns the walls, including scenes from the island of Lesbos, where her parents first met.
For Dorothy, her sister's shop embodies a meaningful family history.
"This brings back a lot of positive and joyous memories," she said.
Agora The Little Greek Market
610b Pike St
Mattituck, NY 11952
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