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Larchmont Residents Brew Up Changes At Sunshine Coffee Roasters

Michael Contopoulos, left, and John Minotti, right, of Sunshine Coffee Roasters in Larchmont.
Michael Contopoulos, left, and John Minotti, right, of Sunshine Coffee Roasters in Larchmont. Photo Credit: Submitted

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- There's a little more sunshine in town thanks to the addition of Sunshine Coffee Roasters (SCR).

The coffee shop, in the space long occupied by Aroma, is co-owned by Larchmont residents Michael and Debbie Contopoulos and John Minotti, of New Rochelle and a former Aroma employee.

If you haven't been by recently, you'll notice big changes.

For one, the space, which the three took over September 1, has had a massive clean-up and freshening up. Come winter, Michael said there will be a gut renovation, creating a much larger area upon entry that will include window seating and a more open feel.

"The counter will be about half as long, creating much needed space and a better flow," he said. "We want the decor to be clean but warm. Reclaimed wood counters, for example contrasted against a concrete floor. Our goal is for the space to retain its local neighborhood vibe while also making over in a way that Brooklyn hip meets Westchester casual."

SCR uses the same beans as Aroma's so the coffee quality and taste are the same. The food selection, however, has expanded -- think sweet and savory stuffed croissants and healthy snack options for kids (the Contopoulos' have two at Central Avenue); the partners now rely on Ceci Cela, a NYC bakery that delivers daily.

Bagels are from Sammy's in New Rochelle, also delivered fresh daily, with all kinds of flavored cream cheeses.

After the renovation Michael said they'll get more into freshly prepared foods. "One item I'm excited about is the 'avo smash.'" he said -- mashed avocado, feta, tomatoes, olive oil, lime, salt and pepper on Texas toast. Sunshine will also be working with Plates on panini combinations and are looking at soup options.

Community is an important part of Sunshine's mission; the three partners want to give back to the community they live in and love. In particular, they want to support local kids, artists and environment so that Larchmont and in a a broader sense, Westchester, will continue to be a wonderful place to raise a family for many more years to come.

Expect a rotating art display on the walls featuring local photographers, painters, etc. -- for now.

"We want to sponsor a Little League team. Bring school classes in to show how roasting works. Have coffee tastings so we can teach the community about the different regions of coffee, how they differ and what it take to go from green bean to what's in their cup,' said Michael.

"We also want to be very attractive to high school kids and plan on inviting high schoolers to perform on open mic nights and encourage them to use our space (after renovation) to display their respective musical and written talents."

To that end, SCR is hosting a Music and Art opening reception Friday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. entitled "The People I Never Would Have Met." Art by Stephanie Crawford, a Mamaroneck resident, SRC's afternoon manager and a SUNY Plattsburgh grad.new

As for the new name? The three said they wanted something that reflected their optimism and excitement for the community and their product. Said Michael: "And besides, who doesn't need a little sunshine in their cup every morning to wash away the last bits of slumber?"

SRC is at 1932 Palmer Ave., Larchmont, (914) 341-1899, www.facebook.com/SunshineCoffeeRoast/ .

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