Rye Merchants Part II

  In praise — and in awe — of the many retail businesses that have been in Rye for more than a decade, we decided to celebrate them, beginning in our last issue. At the start, we had no idea there were well over 40 shops and restaurants — not to mention architecture and insurance…

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Published February 9, 2012 11:02 PM
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In praise — and in awe — of the many retail businesses that have been in Rye for more than a decade, we decided to celebrate them, beginning in our last issue.
At the start, we had no idea there were well over 40 shops and restaurants — not to mention architecture and insurance firms, dance and language classes which we’ll highlight this spring — that have been here in good times and in bumpy ones for a decade or more.

After receiving the January 27 issue, in which Part I, a three-page feature, was published, we received dozens of phone calls from residents and business owners. The conversation generally began, “We loved the article, but we hope you won’t overlook the GiaQuintos, the Pinskers, the Stones?” The list doesn’t end there.
We didn’t forget about any of you other wonderful merchants — and there will be a Part III! More importantly, we wish one and all of you hard-working, cheerful, and industrious owners and employees many years to come.

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In praise — and in awe — of the many retail businesses that have been in Rye for more than a decade, we decided to celebrate them, beginning in our last issue.

At the start, we had no idea there were well over 40 shops and restaurants — not to mention architecture and insurance firms, dance and language classes which we’ll highlight this spring — that have been here in good times and in bumpy ones for a decade or more. After receiving the January 27 issue, in which Part I, a three-page feature, was published, we received dozens of phone calls from residents and business owners. The conversation generally began, “We loved the article, but we hope you won’t overlook the GiaQuintos, the Pinskers, the Stones?” The list doesn’t end there.

 

We didn’t forget about any of you other wonderful merchants — and there will be a Part III! More importantly, we wish one and all of you hard-working, cheerful, and industrious owners and employees many years to come.

Rye Beach Pharmacy

RyeBeachPrarmaDan and Maria GiaQuinto bought the pharmacy in 1946. In May of next year, their son Bob will have been there 50 years. His brother Dennis worked with him for many years. Bob’s sons Donald and Ken, 41 and 37, respectively, are at his side today. “We also are lucky to have had so many staffers who joined, never left, and take pride in helping customers find what they need and want,” said Bob.

In 1974, Bob tore down the old pharmacy and built the one that stands today. He’s proud to have grown the business to include a compounding lab where they can customize prescriptions “the way pharmacies used to be”. Vitamins and nutritional products, “supplements that can make a difference” are now their top department but he’s followed his father’s advice — you can’t sell from an empty wagon — and still offers a variety of great gifts.  

Rye Beach is the pharmacy for the Knicks and the Rangers. “We would take the Giants at this point,” said Bob the day after the Super Bowl.

“Some days it is too stressful to enjoy working with your brother and father,” said Ken, “but we know it is a special thing and it doesn’t hurt that we are spread out by having our desks on separate floors.

 

Post Road Market

PostRoadFounded by Maria and Jerry McGuire in 1937, the Post Road Market is a Rye institution. Their son Jerry and his wife Martha took over in 1974 and seven of their children have worked in the store at one time or another and six family members are currently working alongside them.

What’s the most exciting moment in their years at the deli? “Certainly for me,” says Martha, “it was getting engaged. Jerry asked me to marry him in the Campbell’s soup aisle in 1970. I’ve kept the tile from the old store where it happened.”

 

They tore down the old store and erected a new and expanded one, including a liquor store next door, in 2005.

 

“We keep going because food makes people happy and it’s a rewarding business. We are blessed with very good customers and the ability to work with one another,” said Martha. “While we’ve added a number of items, including organic and gluten-free foots,” said Jerry, “the salads are from my mother’s original recipes.”

 

We wanted to get a picture of the McGuires in front of their famed donuts, but no luck. As Jerry remarked, “We can’t keep them in stock long enough to be photographed!”

 

Central Barber

centralFrank Blasi jokes that he was “born into the barber business”, which isn’t far from the truth. After leaving his native Calabria, a region of Italy, Blasi found work in none other than Rye in 1959. It wasn’t until 1985 that he took over Central Barber Shop, which opened way back in 1927.

 

“Every day here has been a good memory. The people of Rye have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I’m so grateful to have such wonderful clientele.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corner Stone Caterers

 

cornerstoneGary Stone and Liz Rogers met while students at the Culinary Institute. When Gary was working for a catering firm in Briarcliff and Liz was six months pregnant with the youngest of their three daughters, they decided it was time to open their own catering business. They were living in Yorktown but wanted to open in Rye, Liz’s hometown. “The problem was nothing was zoned for catering here, so at first we were just going to offer cooking classes,” said Liz. “The spot we found on the corner of Oakland and Milton had been a deli so we had to have retail. It turned out to be a blessing.” They have a large kitchen in Port Chester, where most of the food is prepared for the store and their successful catering business.
Before they opened, they had food delivered to Carpet Trends, the Rogers family business. “We came back here for family support and we got it!” Gary even installed carpets for a while. They’ve stayed for family and the loyal support of customers.

They’ve enjoyed so many memorable occasions, with help from longtime staff members Norman, Florence, Mario, Walter, Jose, Peter, Carmen, and their children and the children of customers. But their most memorable day was Millenium Eve, a crazy, happy day for which they put together ten big parties.

 

Frank’s Rye Barber Shop

 

FranksFollowing in his father’s hair clippings, Johnny Aiello has been Barber-in-Chief since 2005. Frank, Johnny’s father, purchased the business in 1990 from the original Frank, and it has been nothing but smiling, clean-cut customers since.

“I’m glad to work every day in Rye,” said Aiello. “Watching happy people walk up and down the street keeps you going, and there is nothing better than listening to all the different stories the customers tell.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rye Stationers

RyestationersGina Vuolo ran the stationery department at Greeley House for seven years. When they closed, the Manhattanville grad decided it was time to open her own business. “I had a good rapport with the reps.” She loves her quiet location, tucked behind Purchase Street, and the ability to bring her daughter, Alessandra, and her dog to work. Alessandra dashes up the spiral staircase Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to “work” at the big computer, where Gina designs invitations, announcements, business cards, and orders pretty much whatever a customer needs. “I even delivered orders. When a customer had a baby, I dropped the printed announcements at her house.

“Personal attention is what having a business is all about, Vuolo offered, “and I’m happy that I’m now doing birth announcements for customers I did wedding invitations for.” She’s also happy to be the only Filofax dealer in the area.

 

 

 

Dock Deli

dockdeliNeil Pinsker was in the retail clothing business, but his wife Maggie had grown up in the food business, and across the street from the old Dockside deli at the southern end of town. When the space became available, the couple wasted no time buying the business, rearranging the space, and beefing up the menu.

 

Customers start coming in before 7 for their bacon, egg, and cheese. Chicken cutlet is a lunchtime favorite, and the Dock Dip is unsurpassed.
The Pinskers live in Rye, and love the community and the customers — from the early morning crowd, many of whom linger to talk about the Giants, the Rangers, the Yankees, the Little League teams, to the kids who rush in after school for a snack or treat. They had a son the same year they opened Dock Deli. “Nicky was here from Day 1, but he now works in the tax department at UBS, ” said his proud parents.

 

 

 

 

La Panetière

PanetiereFor generations, Jacques Loupiac’s family owned bakeries in southeast France. After graduating from culinary school in Nice and working in a number of restaurants, he moved to Rye in 1985 to fulfill his dream of bringing to the United States the special dining experience that typifies the French countryside and the wondrous inns he enjoyed as a child. He chose Rye because of its proximity to New York City and the natural bounty of seasonal and fresh local ingredients, from the land and sea.

 

“It has been a continuously memorable experience to bring culinary satisfaction to so many customers. I enjoy making sure their experience is a happy one in every way,” Loupiac said. He acknowledged that he’s also very proud that La Panetière is recognized year after year as the area’s premier French restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

Longford’s Own Made Ice Cream

Longfords“When I hire someone to work at Longford’s,” said owner Christine Vita, “I tell them: we treat customers as if it were their first time in the store – every time.”

 

If ever someone worked her way from the ground up, it’s Christine Vita. She first started working behind the counter in 1995, while attending Rye Country Day School. In 1997, while a student at Manhattanville, she moved up to managing the store. Two years later she bought it.

 

What keeps her running Rye’s iconic ice cream emporium? “It’s the people,” she said. “Rye’s a true community where people are very loyal. And it’s the joy of watching my customers grow up. One 4-year old who I served ice cream to is now working here while attending Cornell.”

Longford’s has just signed a new lease, so they’re here to stay. Mark your calendars: their annual block party is June 3.

 

 

Kelly’s Sea Level

kellysShe stopped short of calling it “inevitable”, but Kelly McGuire admitted the thought of coming back to Rye at some point to run the family restaurant bearing her name was always in the back of her mind. She’s been at the helm for the past ten years, overseeing the countless cheeseburgers and ice-cold beers served up at the popular down-home eatery. Although Kelly’s is  only 36 years old, the building has been there since the turn of the 19th century.

 

It didn’t take her long to point to St. Patrick’s Day as a favorite day on the Kelly’s calendar. “The whole family is here and everyone is excited and in a good mood. The kitchen gets crazy, and we all end up smelling like cabbage and corned beef, which we cook over 800 pounds of.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le Beastro

LeBeastroOpening a dog grooming business wasn’t a stretch for Lisa Cibelli — after taking care of camels at the Bronx Zoo. She studied opera at the New England Conservatory of Music, but in between jobs also worked for veterinarians and a friend who’d bought a kennel and needed a groomer. “I began to like it, and the idea of art and animals together.” She is in three bands, the Dragon Coasters among them.

 

What keeps Cibelli going is the reward of having her own business and being part of the fabric of the community. Her most memorable assignment to date was grooming a sheep for the Resurrection Christmas Pageant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rye Decorators

decoratorsHaving already spent 12 years in the business, Valerie Rubeo jumped at the chance to own her own interior design store when she heard a first-floor space on Purchase Street that was a design business became available. “I love the industry and I love doing this, and my children are all out of the house, so it gives me something to go do every day,” said Rubeo.

“I’ve had some wonderful customers at Rye Decorators through the years, and what’s most rewarding is when they pop their head in the door to say how happy they are with a job.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Rolled Bagels

handrolledSang Lee was working as an apprentice in a Hartsdale bagel shop when the head chef recommended he look into an empty Rye space for his own. The former futures trader quickly moved in, and – for the residents who flock to his Purdy Avenue establishment each morning – it has been love at first bite ever since.

 

Open seven days a week, even holidays, Lee says his customers choose quality when they purchase his delicious assortment of bagels. “Every day here can look the same, but it has been amazing to see children grow up and then bring their children here to eat.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Town Dock

 

TownDockAnthony DeLuca was working in New York City when a restaurant space on Purdy Avenue became available. “I always wanted a place of my own, so I jumped on it. The rest is history.” Whether you’re in the mood for a beer, burger, or some of the freshest fish around, DeLuca and Town Dock have you covered.

 

“The customers are great. They’re knowledgeable and loyal.” DeLuca added that some of the best days at the restaurant have been for the Giants Super Bowl victories. “The team’s owners are locals who support this restaurant big time, so the wins were exciting.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scissors on the Sound

 

ScissorsonHudsonLinda Angarano and Susan Myers worked together at a hair salon in Irvington and enjoyed the experience from the start. In 1992, they opened their own shop across the street from the Rye Marina. That was right after Myers had her first child. She now has four and Linda has two.

 

The pair is quick to show you the album of Christmas cards they’ve sent out over the years — “Got Tangles?”, in which they’re wrapped in Christmas lights, is one of the more memorable. What keeps them going is: they like what they do and they laugh a lot. They tried out for “The Amazing Race” and they’ve never had a fight. For years they’ve offered a 20% off to seniors on Tuesdays and discounted haircuts for college students. “It’s been a wonderful experience to watch our customers through the years.”

 

 

 

 

 


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