More Than Jewelry At This Collection

 Eileen Pinchuck displays the latest offering from Spartina, the NYC Map Collection at her store in Northport Village.   Long Islander News photo/Pat Mellon

Eileen Pinchuck displays the latest offering from Spartina, the NYC Map Collection at her store in Northport Village.  Long Islander News photo/Pat Mellon

By Pat Mellon
info@longislandergroup.com

Eileen Pinchuck wants to make sure you remember the more.

The owner of The Jewelry Collection and More on Main Street in Northport Village is quick to remind shoppers in her boutique that there is so much more than jewelry to be seen. In fact, one could argue that there’s actually more than jewelry; the store is practically bursting with inspirational signs, cleverly-worded gifts, and home décor that is both cheerful and sarcastic.

Yes, there are also beautiful earrings, bracelets, and rings, colorful necklaces, brooches, and pins, but like the beyond at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, it’s the more at The Jewelry Collection and More that intrigues. Who can resist the lure of the mysterious more? Is it clothing? Is it candy? Monogrammed wedding cake serving utensils? It could be anything!  And just when you think you’ve seen everything the modestly-sized 1000 sq. ft  store has to offer, there’s a room in the back full of wonderful gifts for newlyweds and newborns, from cake toppers to onesies to heartwarming nursery decorations.

“I like to keep the inventory fresh and interesting, to rotate it and bring in new items as often as I can” Pinchuck said. “So if you were in last month and you didn’t see anything that you liked, you should circle back. You might be surprised.”

A must-visit for all strollers and gift-seekers in the 11768, The Jewelry Collection and More is sure to delight, with scented candles and fluffy socks surrounded by hand-bags (Pinchuck is quick to display the new purses and bags emblazoned with a whimsically-drawn map of NYC) and affirmations-on-things galore, perfect for the hard-to-shop-for group that also appreciates the humor often found in a cutting board with a point of view or a coffee mug that wishes it were a wine glass.

“We have a whole section of gifts for wine-lovers, you know, for the gals,” Pinchuck laughed while holding a clock reading, “WINE THIRTY”.  Because the only thing better than wine is a pun about wine. Sort of like the classic “I’m into fitness…fitness whole beer in my belly” mug, but, you know, with the sophistication that comes from consuming fermented grapes.

The store has been around since 2007 and Pinchuck said every day has been an absolute thrill. “I love Northport and I love my customers,” she beamed, adding that she feels lucky to be able to live and work in such a wonderful community. “There’s really nothing like Northport Village.”

Pinchuck’s previous jewelry experience (she worked at The Diamond Exchange in Manhattan for J&H Fryer before opening on Main Street in Northport) coupled with a personality that can only be described as colorfully enthusiastic, make The Jewelry Collection and More more than just a store.

“I want everyone who comes into the store to feel comfortable and to take their time looking around,” she said. “I love seeing the look on a new customer’s face when they find that perfect gift or that one-of-a-kind item. It’s really why I do this.”

Has online shopping and the convenience of the internet thinned her customer base over the last few years?

“Maybe a little,” she said, “but shopping online is nothing like being there.  Sure, you can buy stuff in your pajamas at 2am but I don’t think online shopping will ever replace visiting the store and actually being able to touch the merchandise before you own it. Besides, we’re not anti-internet. We have a dynamite Instagram. But it’s more fun to come in.”

 

The Jewelry Collection and More
75 Main Street Northport
631-754-1116

 

Education Starts Early At The Learning Experience  

 At The Learning Experience, children learn they are “all unique and special even though we are different,” said Gina Desruisseaux, owner of a recently opened East Northport location.   Photo courtesy The Learning Experience

At The Learning Experience, children learn they are “all unique and special even though we are different,” said Gina Desruisseaux, owner of a recently opened East Northport location.  Photo courtesy The Learning Experience

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

Finding the right childcare can be stressful for any parent, so when mother of two Gina Desruisseaux had trouble finding quality daycare she decided to take matters into her own hands.

“It was really hard trying to find a daycare that had the right balance for me,” Desruisseaux said. “I wanted a caring place to care for the children and make sure they were safe, but I also wanted to have that curriculum.”

After researching her options, Desruisseaux, of Plainview, opted to partner with Florida-based early education company The Learning Experience to open a center in East Northport.

“I decided to jump in and see if I could partner with them to open a center,” Desruisseaux said.

The Learning Experience was co-founded over 30 years ago by CEO Richard Weissman, and now operates over 250 childcare centers across the country. Desruisseaux owns the independent franchise location in East Northport, which is the 19th location in New York State.

Desruisseaux, who previously worked in the fashion industry for over 20 years, said she chose East Northport because she felt the Town of Huntington needed a center like The Learning Experience.

She also said the 3084 E. Jericho Turnpike location provided a convenient location for parents.

“It’s right on that commuter path,” Desruisseaux said. “I wanted to make it accessible for parents, and I felt East Northport would be a perfect fit.”

The Learning Experience is open to children from six weeks old to preschool age, and has a “proprietary curriculum” that Desruisseaux said sets it apart from other daycare centers. The curriculum features sign language, a manners program, foreign language and education about philanthropy.

Each age group is separated into their own classroom with the appropriate staff. The East Northport location will employ over 30 teachers and staff.

“We teach the kids early on to be good citizens,” Desruisseaux said. “We teach them that we are all unique and special even though we are different.”

Desruisseaux also said that The Learning Experience has “a very strong kindergarten readiness program” that focuses on reading skills.

“Over 90 percent of the kids that leave The Learning Experience and go to kindergarten are reading at a level that surpasses kindergarten,” she said. “That really sets us apart and means that the kids are ready for school.”

The Learning Experience will also offer an after school program for children up to eight years old.

In the short time that The Learning Experience has been open, the curriculum is already beginning to have a positive impact on both the teachers and the students.

“Seeing their faces when they learn something new is really cool,” Desruisseaux said. “When you teach them something and their eyes just light up it’s really exciting.”

As a parent herself, Desruisseaux also said she wants parents to feel “happy because they know that their children are safe.”

“You want them to go to work and do what they have to do knowing that their children are safe,” she said.

The Learning Experience in East Northport had a soft opening on Aug. 14, and Desruisseaux said that the center would open for the school year on Sept. 4. The center will also host a grand opening celebration on Sept. 22 that will be open to the community.

New Owners Spruce Up Tennis Club

  Karen and Phil Cadorette took over the Park Avenue Tennis Club in February, and are nearly finished with an extensive remodel.    Long Islander News photo/Connor Beach

Karen and Phil Cadorette took over the Park Avenue Tennis Club in February, and are nearly finished with an extensive remodel.  Long Islander News photo/Connor Beach

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

Tennis fans are sure to recognize the newest face to dominate the courts at Park Avenue Tennis Club in Huntington.

That’s because a larger than life mural of tennis star Roger Federer now overlooks the courts.

The mural is one of the finishing touches to a nearly six-month renovation by the club’s new owners Karen and Phil Cadorette.

The Cadorettes, of Huntington, took over the Park Avenue Tennis Club in February from previous owners Michael and Deborah Bustamante, who operated the 100 Partridge Lane facility for 25 years.

The new owners began an extensive renovation project to update the club and improve the facilities.

“We wanted to create a country club finish in a place that was more accessible to the community,” Phil Cadorette said.

Now nearly finished, the renovation included new high efficiency court lighting, a new upstairs party room and nursery, improvements to the lobby, new custom-built furniture and, of course, the mural.

The mural was completed by Huntington-based artist Efren Andaluz on Federer’s birthday, and will be on display in time for the U.S. Open in Queens.

The mural, which was done in a graffiti style using mostly spray paint, intricately ties together many different aspects of Federer’s career.

“The mural can serve as motivation for the young players of what they can achieve,” Karen Cadorette said.

She is in charge of the tennis operations at the club, while her husband has been handling the details of the renovation.

Park Avenue Tennis Club has nine pros on staff to offer private lessons, adult leagues, clinics and “zones,” as well as an extensive junior program and group lessons.

The club also offered its first camp in 12 years this summer.

“The camp was very good for our first year,” Karen Cadorette said. “We are also hoping to get a junior team together, and host a USTA tournament.”

The new programs are supported by the beautiful new facility.

“The remodel took us about three months,” Phil Cadorette said, adding that completing just one of the projects in that time would have been a lot.

The new courts at Park Avenue Tennis are identical to the ones that the pros play on during the U.S. Open, with a rubber surface underneath that helps minimize impacts on the joints, Phil Cadorette said.

The second floor that was unutilized by the previous owner now house a nursery and a party room that can be used for children’s birthday parties and other events.

Phil Cadorette said that one of the most popular aspects of the renovation for customers has been the complete renovation of the ladies locker room.

“We are trying to include things that nobody else has,” he said. “The renovation has been very well received, and I think now we offer the best experience for the customer with the highest level of comfort.”

The Cadorette’s said the Huntington community has been very supportive since they took over the club.

“We have a lot of great customers, and everyone has been very encouraging,” Karen Cadorette said. “I think everyone is excited to see the business grow.”

 

Park Avenue Tennis
100 Partridge Lane, Huntington
631-271-1810
ParkAveTennis.com

The Jewelry Biz Is In Their DNA

  Barbara Buoniello, right, and her daughter Carolanne at Harborview Jewelers.    Long Islander photo/Connor Beach

Barbara Buoniello, right, and her daughter Carolanne at Harborview Jewelers. 
Long Islander photo/Connor Beach

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

When Harborview Jewelers opened on Main Street in Northport last month, locals were not surprised to see Barbara Buoniello behind the counter.

In addition to Buoniello’s status as a well-known Northport native, she also comes from a long line of expert jewelers.

Her grandfather started Tudor Jewelers in Elmont before the shop moved to Northport, and her father later took over the business. The jewelry business has always been a part of Buoniello’s life.

“I started in the jewelry business when I was 13 years old,” Buoniello said.

Buoniello returned to help her father with the family business after two years in college.

“Once I decided that I was going to make this my permanent job, I went and got certified in diamonds, colored stones and how to run the business,” Buoniello said.

Armed with four certifications from the Gemological Institute of America and 35 years of experience in the business, Buoniello, with the support of her family, decided the time was right to open a store of her own.

Harborview Jewelers had a soft opening on July 7 and an official grand opening party a few weeks later.

Working alongside Buoniello in the shop is her daughter Carolanne. As the fourth generation in the industry, Carolanne said she’s had the “best teachers.”

“People come in just for my mom,” Carolanne said. “Her knowledge and experience really shows when she interacts with the customers.”

Buoniello said that Harborview Jewelers has pieces for every price range, including sterling silver, gold and platinum, as well as watches, watch repairs and men’s jewelry.

Buoniello specializes in custom designing jewelry to fit each customer’s individual style and taste.

“She does amazing custom work,” Carolanne said, adding that the shop can transform older pieces that may have family history into “something modern, while still keeping the sentiment in it.”

  The showroom at Harborview Jewelers.   Long Islander photo/Connor Beach   

The showroom at Harborview Jewelers.
Long Islander photo/Connor Beach
 

Buoniello’s knowledge and experience allows her to work with customers to ensure that they find the right piece that is “fresh and current.” Customers looking for anything from a small gift to the perfect engagement ring can be sure that they know exactly what they are getting and why it is right for them.

“She wants not only to sell you something, but to educate you on what it is,” Carolanne said. “If you’re going to buy something that’s a colored stone, she wants to teach you about it.”

Buoniello said she can help customers who come into the store with a vague idea for a piece create something that is beautiful, practical and functional.

The personal connection that Buoniello has formed with her customers over the years in the jewelry business gives Harborview a multigenerational atmosphere. She helps find jewelry for the children of those customers who watched her grow from the 13-year-old in her grandfather’s shop.

In the just over a month since Harborview Jewelers opened, Buoniello said she has already felt the warm welcome from the community where she grew up.

She said, “It’s personal here… you only have to come in here once and it’s like you become part of our family.”


Harborview Jewelers
260 Main Street, Northport
631-754-0050
harborviewjewelers.com

Burned By Fire, Tea Company Makes New Start

BIZ_SPTL_ClipperTea_1.jpg

Melissa Wawrzonek has relocated her Clipper Ship Tea Company to Main Street in Huntington village.   Photo by Connor Beach

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com  

The Clipper Ship Tea Company has found a new home in Huntington where tea drinkers can scour the selection of hundreds of teas to find just what they are looking for.

Originally located in Northport Village for eight years, the Clipper Ship Tea Company was damaged in the 2017 fire at neighboring Gunther’s Tap Room.

After the fire, owner Melissa Wawrzonek moved the business to a temporary “pop-up shop” while she decided what was next.

Wawrzonek, of Northport, said, after much thought, the decision was made to move the tea company out of Northport and into its new location at 297 Main Street in Huntington village.

“We had our soft opening June 30, so we are still in our soft opening stage,” Wawrzonek said.

The walls of the new store are lined with 200 different loose leaf teas, according to Wawrzonek. 100 of those are “single estate premium teas,” while the other 100 are innovative blends the Clipper Ship Tea Company is known for, including over 70 teas that are certified organic.

“The single estate teas are really important if someone is a premium tea drinker or a high-end tea drinker,” Wawrzonek said. “Then we have 100 of the really fun and innovative blends.”

Those tea blends include banana cream, butter cream and snow monkey. Wawrzonek, who grew up drinking tea, developed her knowledge of the blends and premium teas during a five-year course to become a certified tea specialist at the Manhattan-based Specialty Tea Institute.

Wawrzonek also took the time to visit the places where many of the teas that she sells are grown.

“I got the opportunity to visit India, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan and Japan to really study tea in depth,” Wawrzonek said.

After retiring from her previous job as a merchant marine, Wawrzonek decided to open the Clipper Ship Tea Company and turn her passion into a profession. In addition to the 200 loose leaf teas that currently line the wall at the Clipper Ship Tea Company’s new location, the shop also offers a variety of sleep and decaf teas, teapots, tea mugs, infusers and a selection of both local and international honey.

Wawrzonek said that the tea shop will begin offering both hot and iced teas “to go” after the official grand opening. She said plans are also in the works to set up an outdoor patio in the rear of the shop.

The move to Huntington is not the first time that tea lovers have seen Clipper Ship teas in town. The company’s teas are also available at Southdown Coffee, Hatch and the Book Revue Café.

“We are excited to be here and we like the really strong foundation there is here in Huntington for local and independent small businesses,” Wawrzonek said. “We’re ready to start our second chapter.”

THE DETAILS: 
Clipper Ship Tea Company
279 Main Street, Huntington
631-651-2764
Clippershipteaco.com