While a lot of the village has slowed down and learned how to adjust to a virtual life, Peter Kambitsis, owner of Sugarberry Bakery in Rockville Centre, has been working extra hard—but not for himself. When more and more people started staying at home, he got creative, finding a way not only keep his staff employed, but to also show appreciation for those out on the front lines.
“We started by getting the emergency room staff fed,” he said. “They’re putting their lives on the line, so we figured giving them some sweet treats and coffee could help keep their spirits up.
Across his four businesses in Rockville Centre, Oceanside and Forest Hills, he has more than 150 employees, all of whom, he said, want to come to work and are happy to be a part of giving back. To minimize risk of exposure, he handles the bulk of the deliveries, and is cautious about keeping a distance, but is concerned most about the well-being of local first responders.
“I feel for them, being constantly in that situation, and we hope we can cheer them up with some sweets and coffee,” Kambitsis said. “And it’s a nice feeling for me, knowing they can get fed and don’t have to leave.”
The deliveries began on Tuesday, March 17, after the executive order announcing all restaurants could only be open for takeout and delivery. Deliveries from Sugarberry, and Kambitsis’ other businesses, New York Bakery in Oceanside, and Mojo Restaurant and Ripe Juice Bar in Forest Hills, have included drop-offs to the emergency rooms of Mercy Medical Center and Mount Sinai South Nassau, as well as to the Rockville Centre Police Department and the Rockville Centre Fire Department. The bakery is also offering a 50 percent discount to all first responders