By Alyssa Seidman
A shared passion for pocketknives and other “everyday carry” tools — bordering on an obsession — recently led to a new storefront at 15 Glen Head Road. L.I. Tactical & EDC, which opened in Glen Head on Wednesday, is a small, family-run business specializing in pocket-sized products.
Co-owners Brett Newman and Michael Grimaldi, who met through work at a local car dealership, decided to pursue their mutual interest in everyday carry tools and start a business together.
“I have this thing with flashlights that no one can explain,” Newman said, “but Mike gets it, and my father gets it, and there’s people out there that like it, too. We’re fortunate enough to have this place and get our hands on products that we’re interested in selling.”
The shop carries high-powered flashlights, multi-tools, pocketknives, backpacks, KeyBars, camping gear and self-defense tools that can be carried on a keychain. Newman described them as “accessories for the outdoors.”
L.I. Tactical is a world away from the mass-market businesses that are common across Long Island. “It’s something different,” Newman said. “You meet the person that’s putting all the time and effort into the business, and there’s a sense of pride for the owner that can be there and be a part of it every day.”
“There’s no local place like it,” Grimaldi added.
L.I. Tactical offers brands like Olight, Gerber, Spyderco and Maxpedition to suit the needs of everyday people, no matter their line of work or hobbies. “The way we wanted to market this store is, it’s not really geared towards fishermen or hunters, but geared towards the enthusiast that can use [these tools] really for anything,” Newman said.
Negative comments were shared on a community Facebook page in response to L.I. Tactical’s grand opening. “The backlash came from terminology that was used to describe what they sell, and people were nervous about the term,” said Christopher Pierce, of Glen Cove, who posted a rebuttal in support of the shop. “There’s often a misconception about everyday carry tools — it can be anything from a Swiss army knife to a wallet.”
Pierce added that people shouldn’t be deterred by the term “everyday carry,” and is excited to see a store that offers something new to the community. “It’s a fresh idea,” he said, “and will benefit people who just want to explore.”
Newman said he was interested in expanding the store’s range of self-defense tools, but added that firearms would not be sold. “We’re fortunate that we don’t live in a high-crime area, but there is crime around here,” he said. “We want to sell little devices to provide peace of mind and help people defend themselves, and you can defend yourself without needing a gun.”
Newman encouraged residents to come in and see what the store has to offer, and said he would welcome any questions they may have. “At the end of the day, we’re doing what we can to sell things that make life a little bit easier,” he said.