For nearly three decades patrons and fellow merchants of Belmont’s Little Italy have frequented Cerini Coffee & Gifts for more than just their morning cup of Joe.
And the Cerinis have made it their business to welcome them by offering Italian specialties spanning from imported coffee beans to espresso machines from Saeco, Gaggia and Rancilio.
Now, moving from their longtime location at 662 E. 187th Street, the Cerinis are able to offer even more products and services in their newest locale at 2334 Arthur Avenue - in a space three times the size of their original spot.
Celebrating their new digs, the family of six kicked off an official grand opening on Saturday, April 19, serving free espressos all day and raffling off an espresso machine –at a $500 value - and a Giuseppe Armani Figurine – at about $100 value.
Parents Franco and Giovanna and their four children, Stefania, Giovanni, Daniella and Marco, each play a role in the family business, which now sits directly across from Dominick’s Restaurant, a very popular stretch on Arthur Avenue.
Though Little Italy has become the home of many more cultures and backgrounds, for many Italian descendents, the ambiance of the “old country” is still strongly felt.
“We’re excited about being on Arthur Avenue,” Stefania said. “It’s so nice and pleasant how friendly everybody is - like a family.”
After having two separate locations on E. 187th, one for products and one for servicing coffee making machinery, the Cerinis are thrilled that their new location is large enough to house all the facets of their business.
“We are able to carry more blends of coffee and customers can see more detail with our displays now,” Stefania said.
Stefania said a common joke amongst close friends is that Cerini Coffee & Gifts is an Italian cross between William Sonoma and Fortunoffs.
“We try to have everything that you would want in an Italian home,” she said. “I’d say we’re an Italian specialty shop.”
Some of their most popular products include coffee pots and cookware, espresso machines, cleaning supplies, imported cookies and general gifts including imported goods, invitations and party favors for all occasions, Giuseppe Armani Figurines, Lennox products and custom made gift baskets.
Another popular service is the espresso machine repairs that can be done onsite.
Aside from having more room to showcase their products, the Cerinis are happy to be on the main strip of Belmont and meet new customers.
From fine Italian restaurants to fully stocked delis with imported meats, each corner of Little Italy resonates a feeling of home for so many, which is why the Cerinis have made it the place of their business for close to 30 years.
Though some of the Cerinis have moved out of the area, Stefania said Belmont is still home.
“Moving away you realize how special Arthur Avenue is,” she said. “There is something that keeps you coming back.”
Stefania’s mother Giovanna agreed, adding that the latest and largest location is “exciting for our family.”
“People come from everywhere, it’s a beautiful place,” she said. “Everybody knows everybody.”
For a taste of Italy this side of the Atlantic, java lovers can visit Cerini everyday except Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. or browse the goods online at www.CeriniCoffee.com.
For more information, Cerini Coffee & Gifts can be reached at (718) 584-3449.
©2008 Community News Group