‘I’d like to think of myself as somewhat of an example of how hard work can make miracles happen.’
“After I graduated high school, I went right to work on the back of a garbage truck in Brooklyn. While working the overnights, the only things open were the coffee cafes in Bensonhurst. My dad was my boss, so I’d meet him for a single cup of espresso. It made the nights go faster.
“I knew that working for someone else, I could never reach my full potential. I wanted to be on my own. I knew Long Island needed a proper coffee cafe, so after about eight years of working in Brooklyn, I made a change and started working closer to home on Long Island for another garbage company while saving as much money as I possibly could.
Coffee is a ritual for people. It’s a part of our culture.
“In January 2019, I decided to follow my dreams and bring my love of coffee to Long Island. I opened a mobile espresso bar service for private parties such as weddings and corporate events.
“One year later in January 2020, I decided to take the business to the next level and open a brick-and-mortar cafe in the village of Lindenhurst. I found a place that I thought suitable in March of 2020, and I signed with my landlord on the day before the first COVID shutdown.
“With all odds against me, I fought like hell with pure hardheadedness and the will to not fail. I worked my job as a garbage man for 12 hours a day Monday to Friday. I would go home, take a shower, see my wife and newborn for about one hour and then go to the cafe and work another eight hours and then sleep for two to three hours.
“I did this for a year before I left my day job. Now the espresso bar has really taken off and the shop is getting closer to where it needs to be.
“Coffee is a ritual for people. It’s a part of our culture. I’ve been lucky enough to have the support of my wife, mother and father this entire time.
“I’d like to think of myself as somewhat of an example of how hard work can make miracles happen.”
Interviewed by Maggie Melito