Food Shop: Iavarone Bros. relocates to Woodbury
If you drove by Huntington's Iavarone Bros. this summer, you may have seen the normal window displays replaced by signs announcing the store's relocation 21/2 miles west on Jericho Turnpike at South Woods Road. The new store, which opened almost a month ago in the northeast corner of the Woodbury Village Center, has a modest entrance but opens into an airy 6,200-square-foot space, more than twice as large as Huntington.
Besides the new location, Iavarone Bros. operates Italian specialty stores in Wantagh, New Hyde Park and Maspeth, Queens. The chain's founder, Pasquale Iavarone, opened his first pork store in East New York, Brooklyn in 1927. Pasquale's sons and grandsons saw the chain expand into Long Island, and now the fourth generation is moving into the business. Both Woodbury and New Hyde Park are overseen by Pasquale's great-grandson, Jonathan Iavarone, 27. (He is ably assisted by Woodbury's manager, Pepe Bonafede, a 35-year Iavarone veteran and, as such, an honorary family member.)
With its proximity to Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park does a brisk takeout trade. Jonathan expects the Woodbury store will be more like Wantagh (overseen by his brother Christopher): a full-service, Italian-style market whose every department - imported and specialty items, produce, fish, meat, prepared foods, baked goods - operates at a very high level.
Jonathan has been working at Iavarone's since he was 5 years old and was forced to dress up as an elf for Christmas. He studied food marketing at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia but says, "I learn more in a week working at the store than I did at college."