Duck Island Bread Company: Former homicide prosecutor Robert Biancavilla is now a baker in Huntington
HUNTINGTON, N.Y. - On Long Island, a former homicide prosecutor left his life in law behind to pursue a very different calling.
Formerly the Suffolk DA's Deputy Chief of Homicide, Robert Biancavilla is now best known as Bob the Baker, running Duck Island Bread Company in Huntington.
"We do more than just bread, but bread is the heart and soul of what we do here," he said.
Bob draws crowds for his rotating selection of loaves. In addition to classics like rye and baguettes, he bakes less conventional offerings like kalamata olive sourdough and purple potato bread.
"People come from different areas," he said. "It's difficult to get on Long Island the types of bread that we do here."
Handheld offerings include Bavarian pretzels and jelly doughnuts. All the items are made with care.
"We bake everything from scratch," he said. "A lot of places take shortcuts. We don't take any shortcuts."
Bob's first exposure to baking was working at a bagel shop as a young teen.
"I really loved it. Then, I got distracted for 32 years," he said. "My dad wanted me to become a lawyer."
About a decade ago, while still practicing law, he began selling his loaves and pastries at the Northport Farmers Market. The popularity of his baked goods led to an official career transition and a brick-and-mortar location, which recently expanded to an even bigger space.
Since becoming a baker, his lifestyle has changed significantly.
"You never sleep, essentially," he said. "We're up baking and producing products when everybody else is sleeping."
Over the years, customers have become friends. They call out to him in the open kitchen from the checkout line.
"Everybody wants to know the baker. When I was trying murder cases, nobody ever wanted to know me," he said.
When it comes to his new career choice, Bob has no regrets.
"It's a calling," he said. "I couldn't be doing anything else."
Duck Island Bread Company
212 Wall St
Huntington, NY 11743
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