Opening a crêpery isn’t like opening a deli.
For one, no one ever walks into a deli and asks, “What’s a sandwich?”
But nary a day goes by at Sweet ‘n’ Savory in Patchogue where someone doesn’t ask what a crêpe is.
“We get so many people saying, ‘What’s a crêpe?’ Or they never had a crêpe before,” said owner Ivan Albert.
But Albert and his wife, Kimberly, who opened the North Patchogue shop in September have a distinct advantage over the neighborhood deli, bagel shop or pizzeria: social media.
That is, no one’s blasting out a photo of a ham and cheese hero on Instagram.
“These are just unique food items,” said Albert. “People’s eyes light up when their crêpe comes out or their waffle come out. They take a picture and check in on Facebook and then five of their friends come.”
A recent spike in business, along with a new sign announcing their presence in the King Kullen shopping center at Sunrise Highway and Waverly Avenue, all happened just in time for Saturday’s grand opening party.
There, the Alberts and their kids, Victor, 11, and Lilly, 9, were surrounded by family, friends and local business and political leaders for a a crêpe- and pudding-fest and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony outside.
For Kimberly Albert’s part, she jokingly swore this would be last crêpery the family opens — in part because all of the rice pudding-making falls on her, with the recipe being her grandmother’s.
Aside from the time and the amount of materials it takes to put together just one of Sweet ‘n’ Savory’s many rice pudding flavors, there’s much trial-and-error too.
“Red velvet didn’t work out,” she said. “And we keep trying Nutella. I’m going to master that one day.”
Ivan Albert said the idea behind the Sweet ‘n’ Savory shops — the couple’s first store is in Port Jefferson — is to provide people with a different local option when it comes to a meal or a night out.
“My wife and I would go out to dinner; we’d have a babysitter but nowhere to go after if you’re not going to a bar,” he said. “A place like this is perfect. People have mentioned we should do wine and beer, too, but there’s enough places serving drinks; that’s not what we’re about.
“For us, what we’re about is good food and atmosphere.”
Photo: Ivan Albert (middle, holding scissors) cuts a ceremonial ribbon outside Sweet ‘n’ Savory with his wife, Kimberly, and their children, Victor, 11, and Lilly, 9. (Michael White)