Locust Valley couple set to transform Bay Shore building into bakery café


Daria Lamb of Locust Valley had a decision to make. Either keep pursuing a dream job in economics at the University of Chicago, her alma mater, or proceed to open a pie shop in downtown Bay Shore.

So in short, it was either Pi ( π ), or pie.

“We had some hard thinking in my household,” she said.

Spoiler alert: The pie won.

Lamb’s Mighty Fine pie shop will be opening in early 2025 at 9 Third Avenue.

She and her husband closed on the property in April, and on May 22 the Town of Islip granted them a needed change of use permit to move forward with their plans.

Over the coming months, locals will be witness to the nondescript office building’s transformation into a café, complete with indoor and outdoor seating. The process should take about nine months.

The background

Lamb took somewhat of a circular route back to baking and owning a small business.

Or call it a pendulum swing, as the economist who later became a restaurant manager, sous chef and Culinary Institute of America graduate sold her celebrated businesses in Oyster Bay — Page Two Bakery and the Bookmark Café — to live in Costa Rica.

She returned to the U.S. after about 2 and 1/2 years and since worked in domestic and international think tanks.

But that proverbial smell of cooling pie on the windowsill called her back to hospitality.

Last summer it was decided; she would open up a pie shop on the Island.

She figured it was time, not just for her, but for everyone else.

“America has really learned to appreciate much better coffee, bagels, we have higher standards for pizza and cup cakes, but we really haven’t done that for pie,” she said. “People don’t seem to appreciate the difference between average pie and outstanding pie.

“So I said, ‘You know? It’s time for America to think some more about pie.'”

That’s since been all she’s thinking about. In preparation for her own café, Lamb has spent the last year experimenting in the kitchen and, in between, visiting other pie shops throughout the country.

What’s in store

First, let’s talk about the pie.

Lamb is looking to get creative, as well as offer the basics such as American apple pie. In the creative realm, you could look forward to the maple, bacon and walnut pie.

“I call it the naughty cousin of a pecan pie,” she said. “It’s so good, but so bad. When I make it my husband and I are always sneaking slices.”

But it won’t just be pies on offer at Mighty Fine. This will be a local spot for both breakfast and lunch, coffee, beer and wine.

You’ll be able to grab a homemade buttermilk biscuit, either standalone or in the form of an egg sandwich.

“Something just a little bit interesting, maybe Southern,” she said.

Or perhaps you’ll order a salad or sandwich for lunch and dine al fresco.

She’s also looking forward to whipping up plenty of quiches and a variety of pot pies.

“Or a roast beef sandwich with provolone and caramelized onions,” she added.

She’s still experimenting and taste-testing.

The name

Mighty Fine isn’t just a business name borne from confidence.

It’s more about the owner’s personality.

Whenever someone would ask Lamb how she was doing, even back in college, the answer was always the same: “Mighty fine.”

“It was a catch phrase that I used all the time that people associate with me,” she said.

Why Bay Shore?

Lamb says the downtown hasn’t yet reached saturation when it comes to dining options.

She zeroed in on the hamlet partly because of childhood and family ties, having grown up near Bergen Point in West Babylon, and with most of her relatives still living in the Islip area.

Plus, she and her husband, David, wanted to purchase a building, not rent, and right in the heart of a business district.

The building at 9 Third Avenue proved to be the perfect size and location.

And, she stressed, the Town of Islip had been helpful from the start with the planning process, and she was thrilled when the community, led by Donna Periconi, president of the Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce, welcomed her and her husband to Bay Shore with open arms.

“We went to our first Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce meeting this month and were so impressed by the number of participants,” she said, “and the [chamber president] and local officials who are all working together for the good of Bay Shore.”

The couple also likes the proximity to the Fire Island Ferries.

Click here to follow their journey on Instagram.

Top: Over the coming months, locals will be witness to this nondescript Third Avenue office building’s transformation into a café, complete with indoor and outdoor seating. Inset: Daria and David Lamb.

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