The Long Island Experience In A Box

Theresa Pinelli, left, and Halie Geller, co-founders of locaLI bred are on a mission to spotlight local businesses on the Island.

Theresa Pinelli, left, and Halie Geller, co-founders of locaLI bred are on a mission to spotlight local businesses on the Island.

By Sophia Ricco

It’s now easier than ever before to sample Long Island’s best locally made items without even getting in the car, thanks to locaLI bred, a new business that assembles Long Island-made products into one box that can be shipped anywhere.

Created by Theresa Pinelli, of Centerport, and Halie Geller, of Huntington, went live at the beginning of October.

Both women met in college and after living in Brooklyn, moved to Long Island a few years ago. In Brooklyn, they had seen a growing trend toward locally made items and felt Long Island deserved the same.

“Long Island is awesome. There is so much here and there are so many people doing interesting things because of their access to agriculture and the ocean,” Pinelli said. “All of these really fresh, cool ideas are coming from Long Island but no one knows about it.”

Each 13 x 10 inch box is packed with six to eight full-size products made by local manufacturers.

Each box contains 6-8 locally sourced products that have been curated with care.

Each box contains 6-8 locally sourced products that have been curated with care.

The side of the box displays their motto “Long Island in a Box.”

“It showcases that there are new products and things happening on Long Island, that people aren’t aware of,” Geller said. “People are making things from all ends of the Island. Some of these companies could be the next huge thing that people just don’t know about if they don’t see them at the farmer’s market.”

On opening a box, recipients are greeted by a postcard with a watercolor map of Long Island created by local artist, Jackie Maloney. A letter explains the business’ mission of supporting local enterprises. On top of the box is their logo encircled by a square knot.

“It’s tying up Long Island together in a box,” Geller said.

Before launching, the women spent months sampling and tasting local vendors’ items. They want only the best to go into the box.

“If we represent the best – because it’s our brand on the line too – we have to make sure that it is the best,” Pinelli said. “We stand by that and make sure their story is legit and that they do make everything or a large piece of it on Long Island.”

In their travels around the Island, the women learned each maker’s story to truly understand how their products are created.

“We wanted to give a voice to the makers of Long Island and kind of give a re-branding of Long Island,” Pinelli said.

On their website, each creator has a page that tells their story with a photograph, giving people an idea of where the box comes from.

“We love a good story about how they came to their craft,” Geller said. “And honestly, I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t had a good story. They all do. If you’re doing something that you’re making yourself, there’s a story behind it.”

When the women purchase wholesale from the vendors, they make sure they are paying a fair price. Their mission is to support local business.

“We didn’t want to be just some gift box company,” Pinelli said. “We’re self funded so we wanted to be really careful and make this something that’s sustainable for the Island.”

In a survey, the women found people wanted edible and non-edible items in a gift box. Pinelli is trained as a pastry chef and bakes brownies and blondies that are packed in every box and can provide instant gratification.

“It’s a look good and feel good gift,” Pinelli said.

Their starter box, the “Welcome Wagon” is perfect for someone who has never experienced or is new to Long Island.

The pair have already received orders to ship the boxes across the country.

“Aside from it being a beautiful gift for someone to get. You’re supporting at least 10 businesses and it’s meaningful,” Geller said.

The company offers four themed boxes and one seasonal box, along with a yearly and half year subscription box. Every season, a box is shipped to subscribers and includes new vendors and products. They work to get the box shipped out within 48 hours of an order and find they typically arrive within a day or two. If you want to ensure freshness for your gift, pre-order the box now and choose a shipping date close to the holidays.

“There are a ton of gift box companies out there, we are not your normal gift box,” Geller said.

“This is meant to be supportive of the local community, the heart of Long Island, that makes us different from others.”

Find locaLI bred on Instagram @locali_bred, on online at

The Comfort Of Care In Your Own Home

The TLC Companions team is committed to assisting their clients, whatever their needs may be.

The TLC Companions team is committed to assisting their clients, whatever their needs may be.

By Sophia Ricco

Those in need of care looking for an alternative to assisted living homes can retain their freedom in the comfort of their home with the help of TLC Companions.

The home health care company takes care the elderly and those with disabilities, by having full service non-medical companions that aid clients in their own homes. TLC Companions is based out of Bethpage, Forest Hills, and Trinity, Florida, providing service to the surrounding areas.

“Our company offers our clients the peace of mind that their loved one is being taken care of while they are not around,” James Leddy, Director of Marketing for TLC said.

TLC ensures that they only hire the “best in the business” and take great pride in their employees. Before hiring a companion, TLC will run a full background check and conduct thorough interviews. Employees are also bonded and insured to avoid any concerns of liability. Each companion represents the companies values and shows respect to those they care for.

“Many of our companions have been working for TLC for several years, so we know them very well,” Leddy said. “We trust them to take of our own family members and you should too.”

An array of services are offered by companions to assist their clients‘ daily lives, including light housekeeping services, assistance with daily tasks, meal preparation, medication reminders, assistance with errands and friendship. Even if a companion is not there, TLC is available to help no matter the hour.

“We at TLC Companions go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that our clients are taken care of,” Leddy said. “Since we are a family run business, it is easy for us to relate with the families of our clients and provide a more personal touch.”

TLC works around their clients needs in the comfort of their house, and considers it a person’s “basic right” to choose their surroundings.

“At home, you are the boss and you can enjoy the fruits of your decades of labor,” Leddy said. “Who wouldn’t prefer staying in the comfort of their own home?”

TLC Companions offer different options for care based on a client’s circumstances. If a person only needs assistance during the day and a family member takes over at night, they provide hourly care. If a person needs support at all hours, live-in companions can sleep at the home and be available when called upon or provide constant coverage. Through their care, companions will establish a relationship with their client.


“By spending an extended time with someone in their home, it seems natural that people would begin to get along and enjoy each other’s company,” Leddy said. “For a lot of our clients, the companion that they work with is often the person they see the most, so it makes everyone’ life more enjoyable if they are friendly with each other.”

For the many seniors they serve, it is important to experience social interaction and avoid loneliness. Companions hope to become true friends with those they care for, helping to improve their mental health.

“Beyond care, our companions provide just what their name entails; companionship,” Leddy said. “Companionship is a necessary thing to have in this life. When someone gets older, it becomes harder for them to have people to hang out with. Our companions fill that void that is missing.”

TLC can serve any need, from companions joining their clients at weddings to short-term relief when a family travels on vacation and their loved one cannot attend.

“A companion from TLC can be used to provide care while the family is gone,” Leddy said. “We are always able to work in a way that is best for our clients and fulfills their needs as best as possible.”

Long Island-based TLC Companions is looking to grow to more markets in New Jersey and Florida.

“If a client ever asks us to do something for them we always do our best to make sure their need is met,” Leddy said. “As a full service companion agency, we want to make sure that all of clients are as comfortable as they possibly can be in their own home.

TLC Companions
332 Broadway, Bethpage

Cocktail Lounge Cheers Prohibition’s End

Repeal XVIII celebrates the repeal of the Prohibition era.

Repeal XVIII celebrates the repeal of the Prohibition era.

By Sophia Ricco

Party like it’s 1933 at Repeal XVIII, a new bar in Huntington Village that is celebrating the repeal of prohibition.

The bar was formerly The Artful Dodger and P’s and Q’s, and is now under the new ownership of Huntington resident, Michael Matarazzo. Former head bartender at the location for 11 years, Matarazzo knows the ins and outs of the business and is ready to bring his vision to Huntington.

“I’ve been renovating, putting my own little concepts in and my own vision,” Matarazzo said. “Thankfully I have resurrected the business, got permits and licensing in line and had the grand opening and ribbon cutting last weekend.”

Matarazzo had a good foundation to work with. The bar was on the TV show, Bar Rescue, and host Jon Taffer converted it into a prohibition style speakeasy with a hidden entrance. But after a fire at the laundromat next door erupted a few months later, the bar was forced to close for a year and get rid of their secret entrance, slowing down its momentum.

After becoming a partner last summer, Matarazzo decided to buy the owner out completely and run the bar how he wanted.

A newly completed mural inside Repeal XVIII celebrates the theme of the cocktail lounge: repeal of the 18th Amendment and the end of the prohibition era.

A newly completed mural inside Repeal XVIII celebrates the theme of the cocktail lounge: repeal of the 18th Amendment and the end of the prohibition era.

“I loved the interior and I loved the concept of it, but with my own vision,” Matarazzo said. “I renamed it Repeal XVIII for the repeal of the 18th amendment, which came from the 21st amendment and was the end of prohibition and the speakeasy.”

Much of the vintage, 1930s style décor remained the same, but Matarazzo wanted to add a mural that showed a celebration of prohibition ending, included girls cheersing, a band playing and a bartender mixing drinks.

“I had a nice core to work with but I added a lot of my own personality and character to it,” Matarazzo said.

Matarazzo also refaced the front of the building, upgraded the taps, put in new seating and bar stools, added a 165 inch TV and four 65 inch TVs and made a fun photo op with a bench swing. Patrons can step outside and experience a whimsical beer garden that features heaters, rustic doors from Holland and ivy vines climbing on the walls.

“It’s all about photo ops right now, so I have the leg lamp, the swing, the mural, and the beer garden with the doors,” Matarazzo said. “There’s things rich in history and heritage that make for great photo ops… These are all distinctive things that separate me from everywhere else.”

The vibe is certainly unique, and it’s complimented by a revamped cocktail menu. Cocktails now feature herbs, spices, homemade simple syrups and purees, and infused liquors. These beverages can be enjoyed at any time.

“I’m trying to target a few different areas,” Matarazzo said. “I’m a lounge, but during the week I have darts on Tuesdays night and the pool table. I can accommodate for sporting events on Sundays, as I said I incorporated five more TVs. I have live music on the weekends and happy hour Friday and Saturday with a DJ.”

As a lifelong resident of Huntington, Matarazzo feels he knows the town well and saw it was lacking a place for a mature crowd to go out. He has put into place a rule that on the weekends, men 23 and older will be allowed in.

“A lot of people appreciate that I’m a product of Huntington… I’m not somebody from out of town coming in and not knowing anybody,” Matarazzo said. “It’s nice getting that support from family, friends, and local businesses. My family’s lived in Huntington for 80-90 years so I’m a real Huntingtonian.”

Part of owner Michael Matarazzo’s vision was to create an outdoor beer garden that could be enjoyed all year round.

Part of owner Michael Matarazzo’s vision was to create an outdoor beer garden that could be enjoyed all year round.

Since he was 19 years old, Matarazzo has been a bartender and found a passion for the craft. Now, he has made his dream of owning his own place a reality, using his experiences as a bartender to shape the business.

“I’m still a bartender at heart, it’s in my core,” Matarazzo said. “So knowing the nuances of the industry and not just being all about the business, but taking care of my staff is the right balance.”

He describes his staff as “one big machine” that works together and best when they are happy. Matarazzo has laid out what he expects of his employees, holding them to the same standards he would hold himself to as a bartender.

“I’m not like an owner that was never behind the bar and in the trenches, who is out of their element,” Matarazzo said. “I’ve been there and I understand it. So it’s helpful for my staff that I get it from their perspective.”

Repeal XVIII is on its way to becoming one of Huntington’s most happening joints. Prohibition is over and the bar is open Tuesday-Thursday; 5:30 p.m. - 2:30 a.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5:30 p.m. - 4 a.m.; Sunday, 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 a.m.

Repeal XVIII

30 New Street, Huntington

Nitro-charged Coffee’s On Tap

Christopher Vetter launched Sail Away Coffee Co. in 2015 and hopes to grow the nitrogen-infused cold brew brand nationally.  Long Islander News photo/Sophia Ricco

Christopher Vetter launched Sail Away Coffee Co. in 2015 and hopes to grow the nitrogen-infused cold brew brand nationally. Long Islander News photo/Sophia Ricco

By Sophia Ricco

Why exactly would you want nitrogen in your coffee? Sail Away Coffee Co. thinks one taste of its cold brew will answer that question.

The coffee company has yet to establish a storefront of its own, but distributes at restaurants and stores, sells cans of their nitro cold brew, and sets up shop at festivals across Long Island. Founder and owner, Christopher Vetter, 33, of Melville believes the best way to build his brand is to have a far reach to various audiences.

“Our grassroots marketing approach is why we are constantly doing events,” Vetter said. “Any chance we can get to introduce ourselves to the Long Island public, we want to do so.”

Sail Away Coffee Co. was established in the summer of 2015 and began as a cold brew seller at festivals and farmers markets. During that winter Vetter began experimenting with infusing nitrogen into his cold brew after seeing it done at shops in New York City. Once it was brewed to his satisfaction, the nitro cold brew debuted on tap at Vauxhall in Huntington village, and has since made its way into bars, restaurants, cafes, and food stores across the Island.

“My business sense came from essentially managing my own band and my experience in hospitality came from being a catering manager,” Vetter said. “So those two things combined with me wanting to start my own brand and channeling that into this, something that I love, made for a good recipe.”

The business’ brand attracts the eye with a nautical theme at the forefront. From the name to the waves below it and their signature swallow flying above.

“Swallow is an iconic symbol of good luck for sailors… So it’s tied into the brand because I wanted something that was Long Island-centric. ” Vetter said.

Most of Sail Away’s sales are on Long Island, but Vetter is expanding that reach with a canned version of the nitro cold brew.

“It was the perfect thing to roll out because it gives people the opportunity to take home or on the road, what they love getting at bars and restaurants,” Vetter said of the canned brew he introduced last March.

It’s available in three flavors: sweetened, unsweetened and sea salt and caramel.

“It’s been an adventure… Just like any business, there’s ups and downs. But the ups far outweigh the downs. Just always gotta be navigating the ship properly,” Vetter said.

Sail Away brews its coffee at its own brewery in Deer Park. The nitrogen infusion brings out the coffee’s smooth and chocolatey notes by giving it a creamy and silky texture without the addition of any dairy.

“Nitrogen is a different kind of gas than CO2. CO2 dissolves into liquids and gives it a different flavor,” Vetter said. “Nitrogen doesn’t dissolve, it mixes with the liquid and gives it the frothy quality.”

When Sail Away pours at festivals and events, Vetter said customers ask questions about the cold brew. Many ask if it is beer or has dairy in it? Vetter welcomes the chance to explain the process and what Sail Away is all about.

“The goal is to keep working hard in our own backyard of Long Island and the five boroughs,” Vetter said. “Really keep building our audience and community and keep it going from there, wherever it takes us.”

Vetter said he is “in this for the long run” and has big plans for his company’s expansion. He wants to keep building the company’s base on Long Island and New York City, but hopes to one day be a nationally known brand.

Sail Away Coffee Co. cans and cups on tap typically sell for $4-6. Local taps can be found at Hatch, Vauxhall, Mission Nutrition, Nitro Space, The Shed, and SoBol.

Photos Inspire New Home Line

Alissa Rosenberg discovered her passion for photography six years ago during a vacation in Italy. She developed her Painted Ladies photographs into a home decor collection available at the Nest on Main in Northport.   Photo by Sophia Ricco

Alissa Rosenberg discovered her passion for photography six years ago during a vacation in Italy. She developed her Painted Ladies photographs into a home decor collection available at the Nest on Main in Northport.
Photo by Sophia Ricco

By Sophia Ricco

Since beginning her photography career, six years ago, Alissa Rosenberg has taken off ith a month long exhibit at the Northport library and a home decor collection that just arrived at the Nest on Main.

The fine art photographer has loved her journey in this field which allows her to dabble in many different styles and subjects. The 32 piece collection that she is displaying at the library’s gallery for all of October, shows her Painted Ladies and Unique Water Drops series and landscape photographs.

In her time as a photographer, Rosenberg has been featured in juried gallery exhibits, libraries, and even the Wine Cellar, winning a variety of awards. After showing her work at the Harborfields library, Rosenberg was contacted by the Northport library to have her own exhibit.

Each of the series displayed evokes distinct emotions with the viewer. Her Unique Water Drops images are thought provoking, as she captures a subject through the perspective of a water drop, while calming because of the water drops perfect form. The Painted Ladies series has a nostalgic feeling to it with a mixed media overlay of vintage paper and images, but is vibrant with the inclusion of the color red in either the women’s dress, scarf, or hat.

“I think it’s a strong color and I think it just shows strength inside of beauty. . . I want to portray these women as beautiful but strong women, it’s not just on the outside but on the inside too,” Rosenberg said.

As a way to celebrate the strong women in her own life, Rosenberg made her mom and mother-in-law, a tote bag and pillow that featured a Painted Ladies image. After getting positive feedback she created an entire home decor collection from the series. But she needed a place to sell the pieces and stumbled upon it when walking around.

“I live so close to Northport and walked into the Nest on Main one day and thought, ‘Wow I love this store, it’s such a pretty store. I would love to be here, how do I do that?’,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg approached the Nest on Main about the possible collection, bringing them coasters and note cards as samples and was welcomed with open arms. She debuted her line of home decor pieces at the beginning of September.

Along with home decor items, Rosenberg sells prints of her photographs. Whenever she sells one of her pieces, she is curious where people put her images.

“It’s such a huge honor and that will never end,” Rosenberg said. “I will always feel grateful and amazed that someone wants to put something I created in their house. It’s like the best feeling.”

Rosenberg first picked up a camera during a family trip to Italy, and quickly fell in love with taking photographs.

“It’s not something that I grew up doing, it’s not something that I thought I would do,” Rosenberg said. “I didn’t even pick up a camera until six years ago.”

For Rosenberg, photography has become her “happy place” and blossomed into a second career. For 15 years, she has worked in the Harborfields school district as a speech therapist while being a mom of two children.

“I found myself with photography,” Rosenberg said. “I love my career and I bring photography into my job because as a speech therapist, I work with kids on the high school and middle school level, and I’m always bringing in the idea of taking photographs, describing photos.”

As she develops her career as a photographer, Rosenberg wants to keep expanding her reach by applying to more juried exhibitions. She also recently joined the group, Arcangel Images which will allow her to sell the rights of her images to appear on book covers.

“Being a photographer has really defined who I am and I did not know I was that until six years ago,” Rosenberg said. “It really changed everything for me.”

Rosenberg came into photography with no art background, and taught herself color theory through video tutorials and painting classes. She wants to continue experimenting with different styles.

“I feel like there’s an endless amount of growing,” Rosenberg said. “I don’t ever see myself stopping, because that’s what’s exciting about it, y’know? When I get bored of one section I move on to the next, that’s why I have so many different things I like to do.”

Rosenberg covers a wide variety of subjects in her images, from landscapes to portraits to fine art. Her images can be viewed by visiting

“I love both equally,” Rosenberg said. “In the summer I really love to travel and want to take these beautiful pictures, I have so many places on my bucket list that I want to go and photograph. But then I also really love taking pictures of people, doing a photo shoot and having a concept in my head.”

Explore All Options On Parking


Due to an editor’s error, the following letter was incomplete in this week’s edition of The Long Islander.
The letter appears here in full; Long Islander News apologizes for the error.


Huntington continues to be one of the best places to live, work and raise a family.  However, in recent years traffic and parking in Huntington village have become an increasing burden on both merchants and residents. The Huntington Chamber has historically collaborated on and supported examining solutions for parking and congestion issues in Huntington Village and the rest of the Town.

Several years ago, the Town formed a Parking Committee to seek parking solutions. The Chamber was among stakeholder groups represented on the committee.

We thank all those who have exerted much effort on this committee.  During the search for parking solutions there have been Requests for Proposals for a parking structure; none of the proposals has moved forward.

While the committee and the stakeholders in town have continued to seek solutions, technology has improved to the point where, if properly utilized, parking congestion can be mitigated. Uber, Lyft, Qwik Ride and other ride sharing services have become extremely popular and have had a positive impact on congestion and parking. We have encouraged our elected officials to examine phone apps that also help to identify open parking spaces and consider revamping the pay structure of parking throughout the town.

As a representative of the business community the Chamber has seen businesses suffer and in some cease operations when the Town closed the Gerard Street lot for several months to make repairs and to repave it.  We are rightly concerned that more businesses would suffer during construction if a parking structure is built unless there is a definitive plan for the loss of spots during what we conservatively expect would be a two-year process.

Recently a letter prepared by the steering committee of the parking committee recommended a parking structure. Proponents made presentations to the Chamber’s Board of Directors and asked we support the push for a parking structure. But we are not convinced. At these meetings many raised questions about why the latest technologies and use of paid parking in municipal lots were not being considered more strongly before committing to expensive and disruptive construction.

The Chamber chose not to be a signatory on that letter but only because we felt that the use of technology and alternatives should be fully explored before spending millions of dollars on a parking structure in the heart of Huntington village.

The Huntington Chamber is fully supportive of all options to remedy the parking challenges in Huntington Village, including a parking structure if, after full analysis, that is deemed the best solution. 

Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce

Brian Yudewitz, Chairman
Robert Scheiner, Vice Chair
Robert Bontempi, Vice Chair
Vita Scaturro, Vice Chair
Jennifer Cassidy, Treasurer
Bushra Dano, Secretary

Brothers Open Men's Shop At Salon

Brothers Adir and Ben Aharon are bringing a high-end barbershop to their established salon in Huntington village.  Long Islander News photo/Sophia Ricco

Brothers Adir and Ben Aharon are bringing a high-end barbershop to their established salon in Huntington village. Long Islander News photo/Sophia Ricco

By Sophia Ricco

Get the feeling of being in barbershop while experiencing the quality of service of a salon at Salon Mayan’s newest expansion, a Men’s Shop.

Brothers, Adir and Ben Aharon, opened Salon Mayan five years ago in Huntington and were welcomed into the community with open arms, so much so that they moved locations two years ago to a larger salon. This space offers them more room in the front of the shop, that they used to display their retail products until demand came to create a space that was solely for men.

“As things progressed, we figured we’d open a barbershop because we had the space and we had clientele who wanted it,” Adir said. “Upscale clientele who really wanted something separate from the women’s area but still not a barbershop, more like a salon type feel for men.”

Adir, Ben, and their newest addition to the salon, Master Barber Emmanuel Davidovkaykov are able to offer this higher end experience to their male customers. All three are trained hair stylists:  Adir attended Ferrara’s Beauty School; Ben attended Long Island Beauty School; and Davidovkaykov went to Tribeca Barber School. But it’s not just their training that will draw men in. The atmosphere they have created is masculine, rugged, and “almost like a cigar shop but it’s not”.

“We were ready for something different and thought instead of trying to work around it, we should just strip this room completely naked, which is what we did,” Ben said. “We didn’t know what our plan was yet and where the barbershop would go. But once we teared it out, we took out the walls and took out the floors, we said, ‘Y’know what this would be such a cool space for the barbershop.’”

The Men’s Shop has exposed brick and a black and gold color scheme that is still refined but manly. The salon’s floor to ceiling windows is what they hope will draw in male customers.

“From the front window, it’s a huge room so you couldn’t really see inside the salon,” Adir said. “But now that have a barber chair and mirror in the front, people can look more and figure out what’s inside the salon so we’ve been getting more exposure that way.”

The shop offers all types of services to help a man look his best, from fades, layers, and color to shaves and facials. Since the brothers come from a hairstylist background they are able work with any hair. Davidovkaykov can handle any buzzer or shaver, while Adir focuses on fades and Ben specializes in scissor work to clean up the hair.


“I feel like we’re more specific to each man and what he needs,” Adir said. “A barbershop is usually more general. But I feel like we have a lot more options over here to take care of yourself, your skin, your hair, your beard, it’s not your average barbershop.” Before opening the Men’s Shop, the salon’s only male clientele came in for haircuts. Once the brothers saw the demand for attention-to-detail barber work, they knew their salon could take on the challenge.

“We’re able to really combine the two space of giving the same exact service and attention of a hair salon but being able to do it in a barbershop setting,” Ben said. “Every man wants to get treated just as good, it’s just the feeling of being inside a hair salon that’s still a little feminine for today’s men.”

Recent trends show men taking a liking to groomed hair and the “fresh” look of a stylish cut.

The Men’s Shop has a masculine feel with exposed masonry walls, grey accents and new leather and steel barber chairs.

The Men’s Shop has a masculine feel with exposed masonry walls, grey accents and new leather and steel barber chairs.

“The main haircut I’ve seen so far is the comb over, it’s classy haircut,” Davidovkaykov said.

Many want to stay professional with clean, shaved sides but still showing their style with a long top.

“There’s not really a way to do it,” Davidovkaykov said. “Every barber has their own way of cutting hair so it’s whatever is comfortable for them.”

No appointments are necessary at The Men’s Shop; men are welcome to come in and get a fresh cut anytime at the salon, Tuesday through Sunday. No matter which barber you get, it is sure to be deluxe experience.


The tools of the trade.

The tools of the trade.

Salon Mayan
27 Wall St, Huntington

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Burned By Fire, Tea Company Makes New Start


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

By Connor Beach  

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.”

Clipper Ship Tea Company
279 Main Street, Huntington