Syosset roastery gives jolt to Long Island coffee scene
By Lee Danuff and Abby Del Vecchio
A newly opened coffee roastery/lounge in Syosset is offering freshly brewed java – and hopefully, an escape from the daily grind.
Mongo’s Roastery & Lounge, located on Michael Drive, is a 4,000-square-foot wholesale coffee roastery/lounge, complete with community tables and tasty, locally sourced food items that are delivered fresh each day.
Owner Mitch Margulis - a drummer, amateur chef and self-described foodie - had been in the coffee business for 30 years and dreamed of learning how to roast coffee, as well as create a space for people to relax and unwind.
“I think it’s only fair that the people who live out on Long Island should have…a cool place to hang and come in. The idea of this space is a place is to come and relax for 10 minutes, maybe an hour, but the worries of your day is gone,” he says.
He opened Mongo’s in May, and Margulis says his business couldn’t be better. He says one of the best parts of Mongo’s is that the space is minutes from his home.
Margulis says it’s important to keep everything at Mongo’s local as well. His food – even the glass jars that hold the bakery items - are all sourced from local, small independent retailers. The commercial side of his business also offers coffee to order for restaurants and businesses in the area.
“Our restaurants will tell us what they need. We roast it fresh for them, and we bring it right over to them…there aren’t a lot of people doing that,” he says.
The personal touch is made possible by a 25-kilo roaster that takes about 12 to 15 minutes to roast about 55 pounds of coffee. The giant machine, in full view of customers getting their daily caffeine rush, allows Mongo’s to roast to order in small batches. The coffee is then blended and packaged by hand.
“It’s more like a handcrafted small batch, very artisan production that we do here. It’s mostly about quality, using the best ingredients…We are not talking about Bordeaux wine, we are not talking about expensive items. We are making a great cup of coffee that anyone can afford,” he says.
He says the personal touch goes a long way – and is even taking cups away from Starbucks and other big coffee retailers as consumers gravitate toward small independent stores.
Ultimately, Margulis says it’s about doing something that you love.
“When you work, and you are part of something that is a culture, I think it brings more passion to the table, so I am able to really do what I love. And when you do what you love, you don’t work a day in your life,” he says.
Mongo’s is open every day, and occasionally has “quiet” jazz and acoustic solos on Friday and Saturday nights. It is also in the process of getting a liquor license.