Written by Jill Nossa Friday, 11 January 2013 00:00
The holidays were not festive for business owner Lee Perrotta. On Christmas Eve, Perrotta, owner of The Chocolate Lady, noticed a plumbing problem in the basement of the building on Audrey Avenue where her store was located. The problem was so bad, it forced her to shut down her business. A week later, she found herself moving out of the space she had occupied for more than four years, because it was inhabitable.
“I had no water to make chocolate with. My life is upside down, my home is upside down, my clientele is displaced,” says Perrotta. “There were no holidays for me.”
The displacement comes right in the peak of chocolate season, which Perrotta says lasts from October through May. A staple of the Oyster Bay community since she opened shop, Perrotta knows her customers likes and dislikes and says she is heartbroken over the loss of her shop.
“These people are my family, my friends,” she says of her customers.
She says her landlord refused to rectify the plumbing problem and even told her to fix it herself. As a result, Perrotta has lost the prime location on Audrey Avenue.
“People are in shock; I have been told there were people crying outside of the store, and I have had customers calling me crying and wondering what happened,” Perrotta says.
“I’m deeply saddened by the recent closing of The Chocolate Lady in Oyster Bay, for several reasons,” says Kathryn Prinz, of FootPrinz Reflexology & Massage Therapy and Prinz Music Studio, Oyster Bay. “The Oyster Bay hamlet business community has lost a one-of-a-kind destination business; the patrons of The Chocolate Lady will no longer get to enjoy Lee Perrotta’s wonderful chocolate creations; and I’m especially sad for Lee, who put her heart and soul into this business she loved.”
Because she cares so much about her customers and does not want to lose the base, she is doing what she can to keep the continuity. She is looking to secure temporary space at Buckingham’s, and to also rent out space in a commercial kitchen where she can make her chocolates.
“It’s great that she’s staying in Oyster Bay,” says Walter Imperatore of the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce. “She has been embraced by the community since she opened shop. She has a good product and it is good to have someone who is that involved stay in the community.”
Perrotta, a trained chef and chocolatier, has written cookbooks, teaches, lectures around Long Island and has also done chocolate tastings. Last year she brought the first chocolate festival in Oyster Bay on Valentine’s Day. Because of her networking, her business has drawn tourists to Oyster Bay, in addition to the walk-in traffic. A lot of her business comes from repeat customers and corporate orders, and she says she does not necessarily need the boutique for income, but loves what it has to offer her customers and cherishes the personal relationships she has created.
Despite the setback, she has no intention of losing her business, and has considered opening “pop-up” shops around town, like the one she has in Dodds and Eder. Additionally, clients can order her chocolates by phone or online at www.chocolateladyboutique.com.
“I am the Chocolate Lady, and I will continue to bring amazing chocolate to Oyster Bay.”
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
The streets of Oyster Bay were full with enthusiastic supporters of the Oyster Bay High School PTSA, coming out in force to enjoy a Taste of the Town. This was the first annual Taste of the Town — Restaurant Stroll, and, judging by the crowds and the happy smiles in evidence all evening, it will be the first of many successful events.
This event, previously known as the Taste of the Gold Coast, had been held in catering facilities. This year, the committee felt strongly that they wanted to support the local restaurants and businesses that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The local restaurants and businesses are very generous to the community, whether to the PTSA, sports clubs or local nonprofits. The Chamber of Commerce enthusiastically supported the idea, and a wonderful concept came to life.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
“There won’t be any fireworks on July 4,” said Caroline DuBois. She said letters have gone out to residents of Cove Neck from the Dolans telling everyone the news. Charles and Helen Dolan have celebrated their wedding anniversary with fireworks on the Fourth of July for many years. Having attended one of them was a great boon. It was a massive production and needed the cooperation of their neighbors, who were all invited to the party. We parked in an area along the road and with our invitation to show, we were picked up by a van and driven to the estate.
The entire beachfront was filled with tables and chairs. Food stations dotted the area. There was a carousel in the section where you first arrived. The food was served on china with real silverware: no paper plates and plastic forks. We sat with a basketball pro and his lovely family. When the party ended there were teddy bears for the children and stationery for the ladies. You knew you had been to a great party.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club held their Annual Golf Tournament, named for the late World Golf Hall of Famer Joseph C. Dey Jr., on Monday, May 6, at Meadow Brook Club in Jericho. Hugh R. O’Kane, President of Hugh O’Kane Electric Company, chaired this year’s event.
“This year’s outing was an overwhelming success due to the tremendous support from both our corporate and personal friends. We attracted a sold-out crowd across a broad spectrum from both the Long Island and New York City communities,” said O’Kane. “We are thankful to all those that both attended and supported our outing this year.”
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, more than five million Americans are suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Troubled by these statistics and personally affected, Long Islander and NBA draftee Gordon Thomas founded the Alzheimer’s All-Star Basketball Classic Committee, a group of professionals dedicated to raising awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia.