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Jun 19, 2012 4:28 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sweet Andy's Cookies Opens Shop In Westhampton Beach

Jun 20, 2012 12:59 PM

The sugary creations known as Sweet Andy’s Cookies have been satisfying the sweet tooths of many East End residents for the past two years, but, late last month, the baked goods company finally settled down and opened a store in Westhampton Beach.

While the retail shop component is new, the cookie company has been using the building, located on the east side of Old Riverhead Road and just south of Gabreski Airport, as a commercial kitchen for the past year. Recently, the family owned business made the decision to open a small retail shop in the front of the building and, as of Memorial Day weekend, customers can go right to the source to buy their cookies, bread, rolls, muffins and Hershey’s ice cream.

“It is nice to be doing business here,” said Andrew Terry, the owner of Andy’s Cookies and the chief baker. “You get an influx of different people every summer, but also the business community is kind of close-knit and helps each other out.”

Mr. Terry, who runs the store with his wife, Lissa, said he never intended to go into the cookie-making business until two years ago. After growing frustrated with his job as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, which has an office in Riverhead, Mr. Terry said he and his wife, who was a stay-at-home mom at the time, endured a rough patch in terms of finances and decided to start a Bible study retreat. While trying to get the retreat up and running, Mr. Terry began baking cookies for friends and family who were supporting them during what was a difficult time in their lives.

Eventually, those friends began requesting the cookies for private parties and events, so the duo created labels and packaging and, eventually, secured permits from the Suffolk County Department of Health to open an operation. Prior to opening their own facility, the couple baked the cookies in the kitchen of their Westhampton Beach home and also utilized The Sunset Deli on Sunset Avenue in the village.

“It was something that kind of just happened,” Mr. Terry said while standing in his new store recently, explaining what inspired him to start a business. “It wasn’t something we planned. We never thought, ‘Let’s start a cookie business.’”

Since its unexpected start, Sweet Andy’s has claimed its share of the East End’s sweets market, offering 13 flavors of cookies, ranging from classic chocolate chip to lemon. In addition to their store on Old Riverhead Road, which they have rented for more than a year, the couple’s cookies are now being sold throughout Southampton Town, mostly at privately owned delis, and at farmers markets across Long Island.

Ms. Terry estimates that the company, which has one full-time and one part-time employee, makes around 5,000 cookies each week, most of which are packaged and shipped to other stores and sold for $5 a sleeve.

“It is a lot of trial and error,” Ms. Terry joked about learning the ropes of the new store.

Jen Smith, a customer and a friend of the Terrys who also lives in Westhampton Beach, said she is ecstatic that the cookie company finally has a place to call its own.

“I love it, I just love it,” Ms. Smith said after visiting the store recently. “I think it has a great Hamptons feel inside, and it is one of those local, kind, inviting families that you like to patronize.”

Ms. Smith, who has known the family for five years, has been sampling Sweet Andy’s Cookies since they first started making them two years ago. She added that her favorite is the oatmeal raisin, while her kids go for the more traditional chocolate chip variety.

“They are bigger and they are more moist than other cookies,” Ms. Smith said. “They are 
just good cookies.”

With the new store and a tasty cookie recipe in the bag, the next step for the Terrys is to try and secure seating outside their new store. Mr. Terry said he hopes to secure approval from the village to add a few tables.

“We are hoping it will be a good summer,” Mr. Terry said. “We don’t have a ton of parking, but it would be nice to have four or five tables outside where people can sit and enjoy their cookies.”

For the summer, the Terrys are being helped out by a full-time employee, Emily Grun, and a part-time employee, Esther Heine, plus their two oldest sons, Noah, 16, and Sam, 15, who will be working in the shop over summer break. Eventually, Mr. Terry said he hopes to hand the business over to their five children: Noah, Sam, Phoebe, 12, Micah, 10, and Seth, 5. “That would be wonderful to eventually turn it over to the kids,” he said.

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IT IS WORTH THE DRIVE TO WESTHAMPTON!!!!!!!!! The best baked confections EVER!!!!!!!!!!!
By gallerygirl (29), southampton on Jun 22, 12 11:15 AM
Congratulations Andy and Lissa on such a giant task!! We will stop by every time we are in Westhampton Beach. Can't wait to sample the goodies!!
By sandy5816 (6), Wesley Chapel on Jun 22, 12 11:44 AM
Great to see a small business success story with a delicious product.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jun 22, 12 9:19 PM
Got some of the cookies as end of the year teacher gifts...... they were great
By gforban (1), Manorville on Jun 23, 12 6:28 AM