Maria Vizzi and Carolina Peaulino of The North Fork Box are two entrepreneurs who are thinking inside the box, delivering products from North Fork-based businesses worldwide.
The North Fork Box aims to help small business owners maintain year-round revenue, and to achieve wider exposure. “What we’re doing is so impactful. We don’t just buy the item, put it in our box, and walk away. We’re having a direct revenue impact on every business that collaborates with us,” said Vizzi.
With prices starting at $20, there are currently six options to choose from: a small market box, medium market box, single box, baby box, college box or the subscription box series, which comes out quarterly. While some, like the box series, have predetermined items included, others, such as the college box, allow for customization. Each one has the same goal, to celebrate the mom-and-pop shops, the “solopreneurs” of the North Fork, said Vizzi.
The quarterly subscription is a seasonal series curated by longtime friends Vizzi and Peaulino. In addition to the five to seven handpicked items, discount experiences such as wine tastings, dining, and other activities are included in a promotional envelope, which only cost $2 per box for businesses wanting to be featured.
In 2018, the company donated special Memorial Day boxes to North Fork children with a parent who was deployed in the armed forces. Parents picked up the boxes at Greenport High School. Among the several items included a digital or print subscription to local newspapers, allowing service members to remain connected to what was going on back home.
Coming in February will be a Valentine’s Day Box, in collaboration with local hotels and shops. Other options, available upon request, include Bridal Boxes and Graduation Boxes.
Since its humble beginnings in 2017, The North Fork Box’s business has grown 20 percent. The mission has and will continue to focus on relationships. “The North Fork is home for me, and it was really where our family had the best times,” said Vizzi, a first generation American. Both of her parents came from Sicily and purchased a house in Peconic in 1971 because it reminded them of their native country. Peaulino, whose parents hailed from Brazil, has been visiting the area with Vizzi for over 15 years.
The long-term goal of The North Fork Box is to extend its partnership to the South Fork businesses and potentially include an entire East End experience.