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There’s a new spot in Bay Shore offfering unique breakfast and lunch items.
But, we found, you need to get there early before they sell out for the day, because everything’s made fresh.
Roto Grocery is a concept created by Islip native Brock Ferraro and a college roommate, Jack Monahan, who’s originally from Philadelphia. The two studied at the College of Charleston in South Carolina where Ferraro majored in real estate and Monahan in hospitality.
They both were employed on and off in different restaurants, with Monahan spending a lot of his time working at high-end restaurants while in school.
The two parted ways after college.
Ferraro helped in his family’s Long Island construction business.
But on his days off, he would visit different areas of the South Shore and realized the streets of Bay Shore were perfect for what he was envisioning for his own venture.
That is, a chic gourmet market where you can grab a specialty sandwich quickly and in a friendly atmosphere where the guys behind the counter know you by name.
“Whenever I’m in here, I feel like I’m in a barber shop,” Ferraro joked. “We love that human interaction.”
Located at 17 E. Main Street, Roto Grocery isn’t just a small market. Attached to Fire Island Vines, Roto is its own separate entity that shares a wall and a few tables with the winery.
“My dad went to Fire Island Vines one night and was talking with them,” Ferraro said. “They said they weren’t using that part of the space and that’s when the idea came about.”
Ferraro called his old buddy and told him about the concept. Monahan was in! He packed his bags and moved to the island. Before they knew it, they opened up within just two weeks, officially on Dec. 15. Now, almost four months later, the partners are thriving and loving what they do.
“We sell out all the time,” Ferraro said. “We try to keep the demand high, but people get in the door early.”
“Roto” comes from the word rotation, meaning their menu rotates all the time.
Along with espressos, matcha lattes or “dirty hot cocoas,” you can find specialty avocado toasts and egg sandwiches for breakfast and lunch items that include the “tunacado” (house tuna salad with pesto and avocado on crunchy bread) or a spicy chicken Ceasar wrap, just to name a few.
“We’re trying to curate an experience,” Monahan said. “We want to be on a personal level with everyone who walks through the door.”
Along with their fresh food, they also have a small market consisting of a few shelves of hand-picked jarred goods like pickeled vegetables, jams and spices, all available for sale.
“I love our situation up here,” Monahan said. “It’s a bit of a change for me, but the Bay Shore community has been so supportive.”
And the guys say they have a lot more in the works.
“Stay tuned,” Monahan added. “This is only the beginning.”
Top: Brock Ferraro and Jack Monahan behind the counter at Roto Grocery in Bay Shore. (Credit: Roto Grocery on Facebook)
If you go
Roto Grocery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. until 3 on Sunday. It’s located at 17 E. Main Street, immediately to the east of Fire Island Vines. Food pics below.