Click here for Greater Long Island newsletters. Click here to download our iPhone app.
The vibe is cozy yet cosmopolitan, with a warm wood accent wall, marble floors, blush paint, several big-screen televisions and plenty of seating. The eatery is Cafe Bella, Massapequa Park’s newest business and — if things go as planned — soon-to-be regular meetup spot for local students and adults alike.
“I’ve always wanted a coffee shop, Steven has always wanted ice cream, and we’ve both always loved Massapequa,” said Cafe Bella owner Dawn Lamont of Amityville. She and Steven Vaccaro, who also own Sobol next door, are planning for an early April opening for the cafe.
The couple opened the Sobol storefront in January 2020, and learned a lot: from vendors to the location on Merrick Road and how to operate under extreme conditions with COVID, they were more than ready for another business.
The decision to open Cafe Bella, which is literally right next door to their current business, was a no-brainer, they say. Lamont felt the community needed an eatery that would serve a good variety of food and drink that was also welcoming and could give customers a chance to relax and enjoy their time there.
“Since Sobol is a franchise, we are limited in what we can sell here. You’ll still find your smoothies and acai bowls here, but next door will be more of a menu that’s tailored to what we want to serve our customers,” said Lamont, who added that there will be lunch specials for high school students.
Customers can expect grab-and-go food options such as mac ‘n cheese, empanadas, and avocado toast, among other options. The cafe will do its best to cater to customers’ dietary needs and rework menu items when possible.
As for something sweet, the options are endless.
“Cannolis, brownies, cheesecake sandwiches, black and white cookies, carrot cake, crumb cake, will all be sourced from other bakeries, but available here,” said Vaccaro, who added that outside businesses such as The Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro, Emilia’s Bakehouse, and gelato from Gelato Kings will be showcased at the cafe. “We have a cappuccino machine that’s coming from Italy, so you’ll get your coffee and espresso here, too.”
Lamont and Vaccaro can’t say enough good things about their staff, and credit their all-star group of young women for helping to keep things going. And with a door in between the two businesses, Sobol customers can expect the same service and kindness at Cafe Bella, just a few feet away.
“I think that we’ll have certain things that other businesses don’t have. We’ve proven ourselves here as business owners, managers, and a local spot where I think people will come once and then come back,” said Lamont. “The customers are loyal here and I think it will be the same next door with what we’re going to offer.”
Cafe Bella is located at 4863 Merrick Road, Massapequa Park. Planned hours of operation will be seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Follow along on Instagram @cafe_bella_of_massapequapark