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For The Love Of Coffee

Mar Le Café offers quality beans from El Salvador 

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.


News

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”

The Mayor’s Annual Snapper Derby had plenty of kids, fish and fun on the Pryibil Beach Pier in Glen Cove this past Saturday. On the pier were lots of parents and children fishing for prizes. Below the pier the snappers in the water were only too happy to cooperate with the children trying to catch them. For a while it looked like the children were “catching” and not fishing.


Sports

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is holding its 34th Annual R. Brinkley Smithers Golf Invitational, a charity tournament, on Monday, Sept. 22, at The Creek and Piping Rock Clubs in Locust Valley.

This year, LICADD will have Kristin Thorne, Emmy Award Winning WABC-TV news reporter and personality joining them as Emcee and Auctioneer. The live auction boasts playing opportunities at some of the country’s top golf courses, along with dozens of silent auction and raffle prizes to please the most discriminating of tastes.

All athletes interested in putting their bodies to the ultimate test can hop on over to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, which will once again be the site of Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24. 

 

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Zumba-Thon Fundraiser

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Live Music

Wednesday, Aug. 27

School Supply Program

Saturday, Aug. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com