Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Small Business, Large Hearts

When I walked in to the LLL Deli on Love Lane in Mattituck, New York, I was hopeful. I wanted a turkey and swiss sandwich, just like I'd make myself at home if I'd had the time and energy.

Handwritten signs promised I could get just that: simple tasty affordable food in exchange for cash. Tina and Kevin Langer open their doors Monday through Friday at 5:30 a.m. It made sense, then, the sign that made me laugh:

Good Morning...Let the Stress Begin!

"I like your sign," I told Tina with a smile.

She just shook her head slowly. "It's like that, every day. You get up, and you're just not ready for a while."

"But then it gets better?" I asked hopefully.

"Yep," she said with a slight affirmative nod as she spread mayonnaise on my roll. "It does. You wake up."

There were pictures on the wall, many of the day USA Network's Royal Pains was being filmed out front.

"It's supposed to be set in The Hamptons, but..." Tina and I both laughed. The North Fork, where we were standing, is the far less fancy and expensive of the peninsulas that jut out from the East End of Long Island.  

"They had a catering truck, but some of 'em were nice, like the main guy, he'd come in and buy food from us," Tina said.

I smiled. I'd met the "main guy"-Mark Feuerstein-once. He went to school with my husband at the "tony" Dalton school. He is one of those gracious successful people. They exist here in New York as they exist everywhere. It is nice to hear tales of people from different places and different circumstances seeing through to one another.

The Langers were lovely. They made me a great sandwich and I gave them cash--and gold stars.

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