Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, and here at Kapitus, one of the things we’re most grateful for are small businesses – and not just the ones we serve as a lending company, but the ones in our hometowns that touch our personal lives in positive ways by providing above-and-beyond service and products, and by giving our neighborhoods a personal touch.
So, in the spirit of giving thanks this holiday season, various Kapitus employees are here to express thanks to the small businesses and their employees who work hard to make our lives better.
Carolina Baez, Paralegal
“Being a local it is interesting to witness Conti’s Pastry Shop become the Herald Square of Morris Park [in the Bronx, NY] – every holiday, from Easter to Christmas, turns this establishment into BestBuy on Black Friday. The hustle and bustle during these times are comically annoying (as a local establishment should feel), but it also elevates a certain neighborhood pride for fostering something that has added so much character to the community.
“However, I love Conti’s for the nostalgic scent of baked goodies and coffee every morning…. Stopping in for my coffee and almond croissant, I enjoy the belly-warming energy from the Conti’s crew – the ‘good mornings’ and ‘see you tomorrow’ – followed by what I call my happy time, that first sip. As a self-proclaimed coffee snob, Conti’s brew’s a mean cup of joe, and I am ever grateful to them for that. The décor and vibe of the place make it hard to exit, plus the pastries are soooooo good it hurts to leave. But I go, and go happy because, as a local, I get to be back tomorrow.”
Brandon Wyson, Digital Content Writer
“I have the distinct honor of living in a clean and smart corner of Brooklyn, New York. I live and will
hopefully die by my borough’s small businesses; let me tell you my favorites: Books are Magic on Smith and Butler Street in Cobble Hill is an independent bookstore owned by author Emma Straub and her husband, Michael Fusco-Straub. Books are Magic is my immaculate sanctuary of curated literary bliss.
“Perhaps people shouldn’t go to Books are Magic because they will soon find all other bookstores woefully insufficient. Straub’s wonderland is laden with classics and modern literature, as well as several books signed by their authors. With a delightfully attentive staff and a willingness to order single books from across the country, Books are Magic lives up to its name; such perfection ought not be possible without sorcery.
“Next, imagine Willy Wonka chose to bind his whimsey upon health food. In such a world, which is seemingly our own, you would find Perelandra Natural Food Center on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights. Perelandra is an ode to mindfulness and is unabashedly intentional. Independent grocers have it hard even in New York City, but Perelandra is a steadfast community paragon that will not falter. Every shelf and fridge are stocked with local, ethical, and delicious food you can take home with pride. As a diehard vegan myself, Perelandra offers an unbeatable selection of fresh and flavorful goodies sans animal. Perelandra dares consumers to break the chain of mindless purchase and consider where your food comes from; and if it comes from Perelandra, you can guarantee it’s good.”
Danielle Hodges, Executive Administrator
“I am very thankful for Ms. Sanchez Little House Daycare (in Roselle, NJ). As a working mom, finding
childcare was very important to me. Ms. Sanchez take care of my son as if he was her own. I am thankful that she provides breakfast, lunch, and snacks. When he is there, he is learning and having fun! I am thankful for all that she does for him and continues to do. Thank you, Ms. Sanchez and your team!”
Stephanie Olivo, Human Resources Generalist
“I am thankful for my neighborhood bakery, Buzzancas’s Bakery & Café [In Jackson Heights, NY]. It is a family-owned Colombian bakery and even though I am Dominican, Columbian bakeries bring me back to my childhood with my dad because we always picked up Columbian bread on the weekends.
“There is something unique about their breads and the smell that just makes you feel warm and cozy. I am grateful to have them close to me and appreciate their hospitality. It always feels like you’re visiting a relative when you go see them.”
Vince Calio, Digital Content Writer
“I live in a township called Edison, NJ, and I can tell you that Edison simply wouldn’t be Edison if it weren’t for an independent family eatery, Edison Family Restaurant. The restaurant has been family owned since 1978. It’s unfussy interior and cozy interior make it a great place to enjoy some of the most delicious homemade foods in the neighborhood, starting with its wide variety of soups made from scratch every day, and its bountiful yet casual breakfast and lunch menu that offers everything from the best spinach and chicken pot pies in the state to burgers and gyros.
“The staff is very friendly and knows most of the customers by name, and they’ve been there for a long time. I have enjoyed early morning breakfasts on weekdays, since I work remotely, as well as casual Sunday brunches with family and friends. It truly is a staple in the neighborhood that many residents have come to love and rely on.
“My other favorite small business is the Chateau at Spring Lake, a boutique hotel my family visits every summer in the picturesque Jersey shore town of Spring Lake, NJ. This quiet, cozy little hotel has spacious rooms, provides free tea and cookies int he afternoon and is kid-friendly. It provides beach towels for every guest during the day, and its owner always remembers us by name when we visit every August, and is always quick with restaurant and store recommendations, making this the perfect place for a quiet summer getaway.”
Bernadette Abel, Director of Brand Marketing
“There are two places that I consider home – North Wildwood, NJ (a beach community in Southern NJ…locals don’t call it “the shore”), where I grew up and The Upper West Side of New York City, where I chose to spend over a decade of my adult life. In each of these communities there are MANY small businesses that I hold near and dear but there are two, in particular that own a piece of my heart and soul.
“Russo’s Market in North Wildwood not only makes a mean Philly cheesesteak (seriously, better than you can find in Philly itself), amazing subs and other not-so-healthy-but-oh-so-good fare that are must-haves for my family and the area’s visitors every summer. Russo’s is not just a deli and market – it’s a tradition! My siblings and I spent many summers working there throughout our youth. In fact, I was working at Russo’s the morning of 9/11. There wasn’t a TV at the store then, so I listened to that historic and tragic day unfold over the radio. The owner regularly ran upstairs to where they lived to see if they could get any additional info from the TV news stations and then ran back down to report on what she had learned. It is my “I’ll-always- remember-where-I-was place.” So much of my growing into adulthood is tied into this little market on the beach.
“When it comes to the UWS – by far -I want to show my love to The Dead Poet. DP is BY FAR my favorite small business in NYC (and there are a lot to choose from there, so that says a lot). This little local bar – with its awesome literary decor and literary-themed drinks is an English Major’s Dream. But, to me, this place is much more than that. It was my go-to place to celebrate life’s big moments, wash away disappointments, have venting sessions…and, even, grapple with and mourn the loss of a friend to cancer. It is where I would take visitors to get them out of Times Square and show them a little piece of the Real NYC. It is where, year-after-year, I would make a stop on my birthday for a free beer (if you share a birthday with one of their listed authors, you get free drinks!). I even hosted a friend’s baby shower there! I don’t live in NYC any longer, but The Dead Poet is definitely a stop I’ll make each time I go back for a visit. I know every time I do, there will be a great cocktail, cold beer and an awesome conversation waiting for me there.
“I would like to just add in a thank you to all small businesses. As you can see from all of these little messages, you impact people in so many ways – big and small. Keep doing what you do. Keep fighting the big fight. And we’ll all keep coming around to support you!”
With that, everyone here at Kapitus wishes a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving to you and your family!