A Little Bit of Italy (Heaven) in Bradley Beach-Tuscany by the Sea
Bradley Beach, NJ--When you walk the quaint streets of Bradley Beach you’ll find great shops and eateries and if you happen to be strolling down Main Street you may smell the heavenly aroma of meatballs, fresh bread, and rich Italian sauces. One of our favorite places for gourmet Italian foods is Tuscany by the Sea, a family-owned specialty shop in the heart of downtown Bradley Beach. We know from our own experience that growing up in an Italian family means lots of food, Sunday pasta dinners, and family. “Food was a big part of the family, as a child and teenager. We would gather together each Sunday to have dinner with Grandma and Grandpa. I could not wait until I got in the door to smell the sweet aroma of Sunday “gravy” and yes in our world it’s GRAVY.” Stacey Caponegro, co-owner of Tuscany said.
“Grandma would have her special fried meatballs on the stove in a bowl with a paper towel accompanied by a sliced of day-old bread ready to dip in the simmering pot of gravy,” she said. “Like my dad used to say, it was the nectar of the gods.“ At 16, her grandparents gave her a very special book with all of her favorite recipes. She often refers back to it today. Some of their biggest selling items come from that handed-down treasure trove of Italian favorites. Her husband and co-owner Frank has a large family, and they too would have their Sunday gatherings in a 4-room flat at a large kitchen table that 15 to 20 people would gather around on any given Sunday. “I am sad for the children of today who will never know what a wonderful tradition this is. Being together always felt like home,” she said.
Frank's dad loved to cook and some of his recipes are currently on their menu, one amazing favorite of ours is the Giambotta which is a popular Italian vegetable spread. The unbelievable Sicilian meatballs which are loaded with raisins and pine nuts is a must buy.
Stacey and Frank have owned Tuscany by the Sea for two years. They felt Bradley Beach needed a little Italian market to go along with its many other fine shops. “It’s been quite some time since there has been a store like ours in town, and sometimes you just need some fresh MOZZ!”
“I enjoy being an entrepreneur, being a mom means I have the flexibility to schedule certain appointments and have more control of my home life.” Caponegro is very proud of the fact that they made something out of nothing. She firmly believes that there are always ways to improve, and most importantly she knows that she is in control of her own destiny. “I am constantly rediscovering myself, what my strengths are, what my passions are, and how strong my resilience is when faced with an obstacle.”
They feel “very blessed” as they say, to own a business at the Jersey Shore. “The town is beautiful and our beaches are perfect. We love the hustle and the bustle that the summer brings. Everyone seems to be on holiday and are happy to get in the beach time,” she said.
If you happen to be one of those folks getting in some beach time, you can have your beach and your gourmet Italian too. Tuscany delivers to the beach. Your fellow sun-bathers will be green with envy.
For the holidays, Tuscany has amazing platters and beautiful gift baskets. It’s also a must for holiday parties. If you want authentic Italian on your table this year, Tuscany is the place to go. They offer fresh baked bread daily, home-made mozzarella, ravioli, dried goods and fine olive oils and vinegar. The prepared food menu changes all the time. They always offer grandmas Sicilian meatballs, lasagna, eggplant rollatini, and baked chicken cutlets. All amazing and authentic, it’s a little taste from your Nonna’s kitchen.
“What we like most about our business is creating menus that remind people of their traditions or home. Getting to know customers and what their wants and needs are and building relationships is very important to us.” Caponegro said.
The quality of the food, the friendly atmosphere, their family recipes, the freshly baked bread and over-the-top sandwiches sets them apart from the rest. Did we mention the huge triple chocolate cookies?
Tuscany offers catering for large and small events, gift certificates, event and party set up and service, specialty, custom gift baskets and sandwich platters. They also offer an at home private dining experience. Just like having Momma in the kitchen.
“Frank and I have a great team. Most of our staff have been with us from the beginning. We value their opinions and suggestions. To us we could only be as good as our team,” she said. And what that team creates is some amazing, authentic Italian food and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
For more information about Tuscany by the Sea, visit their website: http://www.tuscanybytheseabb.com/indexs.php
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