Uncle Giuseppe's on Route 111 has not closed throughout Hurricane Sandy, and according to Smithtown's store manager, the experience of serving locals throughout the disaster has been humbling.
"The customers were all thankful, they can't believe we have eggs, milk, everything that's perishable we have due to the fact that we have a generator," said Susana Franceschi, Smithtown's store manager. "People are being so thankful, I have people saying thank you every five minutes. They can't believe that we have hot meals."
Arielle Brechisci, manager of corporate communications for Uncle Giuseppe’s, said the store was equipped with a generator the week prior to the storm and with the power the location has seen sales far greater than the average weekday.
While the business has been packed with customers resulting in greater sales, Franceschi said seeing how excited people were over everyday items was surreal.
"I opened the store on Tuesday during the storm and it was just amazing to see the extreme amount of people that were just desperate for coffee. They didn't even want anything else, they just wanted coffee," she said. "To see people be so thankful for a dollar coffee machine was extremely humbling."
Brechisci added that customers were buying a lot of pizza and pre-made sandwiches, and the hot food bar was the most popular section of the store since power went out.
Uncle Giuseppe's has stayed open during regular business hours on generator power and will continue to do so, with doors open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.