Gourmet coffee served by a professional barista arrived in Glen Cove in early September, though many people may not be aware of it. Mar Le Café, located at 32D Glen Street, right next to Glen Floors, is somewhat off the beaten path, though is worth paying a visit to for anyone craving an excellent coffee drink.
Owner Marlene Florez had several career paths before following her dream of opening a coffee shop.
“Business is in my blood,” says Florez. She says her café started with an idea that took about a year and a half to come to fruition. She loves coffee and said that once she had the idea of opening a coffee shop and began researching, she learned that some of the best beans are grown and roasted in her home country of El Salvador. She saw a market for it in Glen Cove and wanted to bring “real coffee” to the area.
It was in El Salvador on one of her “research” trips when she met barista Flor Gochez. She says they became friends and discussed going into business together. Gochez brings her knowledge of coffee –from the quality beans to making the perfect cup – to match Florez’s business savvy.
When Gochez first began working at Viva Espresso in El Salvador, she did not even like coffee. Now, the award-winning barista is passionate about her craft, after learning the difference between a good gourmet cup of java versus an average cup of drip-style joe. Gochez is also a graphic designer, and says that each cup she makes for her customers she treats like a piece of art. When making lattes and cappuccinos, she makes a design on top with the steamed milk.
“It’s not like a job,” she says. “It’s a passion, something I really like to do.”
In her home country of El Salvador, Gochez took part in several competitions, winning first place in 2009, taking third place in her country in 2010 and second place in 2011. In the barista championships in Atlanta, she took the honor of ninth place in the world, out of 56 countries competing. She has been working with coffee for seven years.
“I like to compete because it makes me feel excited about coffee,” says Gochez. “If you really know coffee - the farms, the process, the taste - customers will recognize it and feel the difference.”
In the store, she says she tries to introduce customers to specialty drinks rather than letting them settle for a regular cup of drip coffee. She says she explains to them the difference between the Italian-style gourmet coffees versus automatic drip, including the proportions of coffee to milk and the standard sizes as well as how the process works, and has gotten a very good response, and quite a few repeat customers as a result.
Mar Le Café uses beans from El Salvador for their coffee drinks, and sells a variety of beans for consumers to use at home. Florez and Gochez both stress the importance of quality, noting that if they won’t drink it, they won’t sell it. However, Gochez notes that it is possible to get quality beans for a good price.
When Gochez makes a cup of coffee for her customers, she says she tries to make each and every cup the very best it can be, while customizing each drink to the individual’s taste. She acknowledges that making each cup to perfection does take a little more time, and says she has found that preparing her customers for the wait helps ease itch for a quick caffeine fix.
“If you want a real gourmet cup of coffee, give me three minutes, and it’s done,” she says. “Then you have a drink you can really enjoy.”
The café is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 200-5010.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 00:00
Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.
As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”
Saturday, 18 October 2014 00:00
If Heather Lehrman is not yet a familiar face to local pet owners, her name is likely to soon become a household name to dog lovers and families with young children, as her children’s book, Bullied at the Dog Park, was released this week. The book is based on a real-life incident with her own dog, Herbie, and fans will have a chance to meet her and Herbie at a book signing at Petco in Glen Cove on Saturday, Oct. 25.
“I wanted to help get the message out in my own way about the effects of bullying,” says Lehrman, a resident of Great Neck. “This book teaches children valuable lessons about treating all dogs (and people) with respect, and the importance of simple kindness.”
Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00
On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the Glen Cove Finley Middle School opened their football season with a home game against Thompson Middle School. The game opened with the Glen Cove offense going on a nice drive, which saw quarterback Mike Vaughan score on a 30-yard touchdown run.
Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00
Six North Shore High School athletes competed in the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games and led the New York Delegation to victory, winning gold. The students included Jacob Abramowitz, Brett Bennett, Drew Jacklin, Ben Lerner, Josh Mandell, and Ben Saltzman. The Maccabi Games is a week-long Olympic tournament for Jewish teenage athletes, ages 14-16 years old. It is held in numerous venues across the United States.
Bennett proudly said, “Competing in the Maccabi Games was a unique and thrilling experience for me. It not only was a highly competitive basketball tournament, but it also emphasized the importance of building strong values such as good sportsmanship, leadership, team unity, compassion and respect.
This, for me, was an experience of a lifetime!”