Read the Newsday story here.
Matthew La Piana didn’t always like hot sauce, but 12 years in Buffalo cured him of that. He went from a tenderfoot who requested his wings "naked" to a guy who could handle the spiciest wings the city could throw at him.
Now he and his wife Lauri La Piana have put 220 varieties front and center at their new store, Sayville N Spice. "Front and center" is literal, in this case: The sauces are arranged by the Scoville scale* of spiciness, with the most incendiary sauces nearest the front door, the mildest petering out around the store’s center.
Is there any hot sauce aficionado who requires that much choice? "With the spiciest sauces, it’s mostly about heat," Matthew La Piana concedes, "but as you get milder, the flavor profiles become more important. Are you looking for a pear flavor? Cilantro and onion? Coconut and curry? We have three mango sauces at three different levels of heat."
Sayville N Spice opened in November and the season has brought in many customers looking for gifts. "Even people who aren’t into hot sauce know someone who is," he said. Other popular gift items include soup and chili kits (beans and seasonings are in the bag; just add liquid and simmer), dressing kits, cocktail kits (in Mason jars) and combinations thereof, packed attractively in crates and baskets.
The eponymous "spice" also refers to the shop’s vast selection of loose spices, more than 100 of them, from allspice to za’atar and including Hawaiian, Himalayan, wasabi and black lava salts; apple wood-smoked, green, Sichuan and Tellicherry peppercorns; arbol, chipotle, mulato, pasilla and Thai long and short chilies; and spice mixtures from around the world: garam masala, shichimi togarashi, ras el hanout and vadouvan curry, among them. Spices are supplied by the venerable Hicksville Spice Specialist, so freshness and quality are guaranteed. Even better, you can buy as little as one ounce. ("You should have bought one ounce" is the answer to the question "What am I supposed to do with the bag of fenugreek seeds I bought for that one Indian recipe three years ago?")
The La Pianas are accidental spice purveyors. They bought the 103-year-old building in 2018 and maintain offices on the second floor — he’s an architect; she’s a court stenographer. The original plan was to lease the storefront but there weren’t a lot of merchants looking to open during a pandemic. Matthew’s specialty is historic restoration and after he had lovingly restored the retail space, he couldn’t bear to leave it vacant.
That retail space had been the village landmark Thornhill’s pharmacy until 2010. Not only did the La Pianas reinstate the old layout (the spice counter is where the old soda fountain used to be) but he kept the old sign: Look for Sayville N Spice beneath the neon-lit "Thornhill’s Rexall Cosmetics — Drugs — Candy."
Sayville N Spice is at 2 Main St., Sayville, 631-589-0005, sayvillenspice.com.
* More than 1.5 million Scoville units puts you in police pepper spray / Carolina Reaper territory; 100-350,000 is where you’ll find Scotch Bonnets and Habaneros; pepperoncini and cayenne fall between 25-50,000; serrano and Aleppo, around 10-25,000; poblanos weigh in at around 5,000; bell peppers barely register.
Greater Sayville: 'Bring Main Street Home for the Holidays' wine and dine event in Sayville set for Dec. 13
Read the Greater Sayville story here.
Down the Rabbit Hole is teaming up with four other Sayville businesses and the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce to host a wine and food pairing event aimed at bringing a taste of Main Street home for the holidays.
Sommelier Jessica Green of Down the Rabbit Hole Wine Boutique in Sayville is curating the Dec. 13, three-course virtual experience being tabbed as Bring Main Street Home for the Holidays. It will feature holiday spices from Sayville N Spice, a truffle assortment from the Sayville Chocolatier, and two delicious courses from Café Joelle and downtown’s new salad shop The Greenery.
The wine is from LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards in Acampo, California.
“We wanted to provide an intimate and safe way for people to shop, dine and try new things on Main Street,” Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce President Eileen Tyznar said. “And it’s an event that allows a lot of people to take part.”
In the spirit of the holidays, the event will give back to local businesses, with $10 of every ticket going to the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce — to help local businesses adversely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Designed for two people, the experience costs $175. It includes two three-course meals, three bottles of wine, holiday spices, and a Zoom link to attend the virtual wine dinner.
“When I first started putting together this event, I thought it would be a great way to not only allow people to taste and explore what some of Sayville has to offer in terms of food and beverage, but also introduce them to two new businesses — Sayville N Spice and The Greenery,” Green said.
“Even in the midst of a pandemic, people can safely discover something new,” she continued. “Food and wine go hand-in-hand, so why not bring the community together in the process?”
The prepared meals and wine will be available for pick-up on Sunday, Dec. 13, between 4-5 p.m. at The Greenery, located at 289 Railroad Ave. The virtual wine dinner begins via Zoom at 6 p.m.
New shop officially opens in the former Thornhill’s on MainAdding some zest to the downtown Main Street area is Sayville N Spice, which had their grand opening/ribbon-cutting on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Read the Greater Sayville story here.
Sayville N Spice held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday at its spot inside the former Thornhill’s Pharmacy building.
And for the first time in years, the first floor of 2 Main St. was bustling with retail activity.
“We want to bring something new to the community. We’re very family orientated,” said Lauri La Piana, who opened the store with her husband Matthew. “It’s been exciting but scary — we wanted to get this up and going.”
The La Piana purchased the building with the beloved neon Thornhill’s Pharmacy sign out front in early 2019. Matthew La Piana, an architect, gutted the place — upstairs and down. The couple soon set up offices upstairs for their existing businesses: hers, a court reporting business called Lighthouse Reporting Inc., and his, Building Restoration Consultants.
With their new store, the couple has certainly added some spice to their lives — and to the community — in the form of over 130 different spices and herbs to choose from. Additionally, the new store features sustainable shelving and displays designed by the La Pianas.
The La Pianas celebrated their milestone alongside Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce President Eileen Tyznar and First Vice President Ron Trotta, other chamber members, family and members of the community.
Tyznar said she’s thrilled the Thornhill’s space is open again for business and “thriving with all of these specialty stores and culinary delights coming to town.”
“I feel grateful that in a time of uncertainty, we could have another business open,” she added.
Matthew La Piana noted how Tyznar played an instrumental role in getting the business off its feet, and in helping the couple make every detail as nice as possible for opening.
“Eileen is more than just the president of the chamber of commerce. She’s become a friend,” Matthew La Piana said. “She’s the glue that bonds Main Street together. She puts her own sweat equity into each business to help them get off the ground.”
For a while, the La Pianas were hoping to find a tenant to operate a business on the first floor. Matthew La Piana mentioned how difficult it was to find a tenant to rent it out due to the difficult times brought on COVID-19.
Eventually, he said, they just decided to take manners into their own hands, creating a space that would “complement some of the other local businesses, like the Saville Chocolatier and The Crushed Olive.”
Trotta noted that it’s been impressive to witness how Main Street is reinventing itself.
“Thornhill’s has been a pillar in this community for years. Now, it’s repurposed as a spice place,” Trotta said. “It’s bringing in new business and new ideas, and it’s a way to be innovative during the coronavirus.”
The retail experience
As Lauri La Piana was attentively helping guests around the store, her husband noted how she gained her retail experience from a young age and that she enjoys creating gifts for people.
“Matt comes up with the ideas, and Lauri is the hammer. They never stop working,” said Richard Lewicki, Lauri’s step-father.
Everything in the store has been repurposed. The shelving is made out of repurposed herb crates; the furniture is made from Pallet wood, via Pallets R Us in Bellport. They use shredded cardboard as packaging.
“I am doing what-ever I can with the resources we have,” Matthew La Piana said.
Matthew La Piana mentioned how his work in architecture influences the way he runs his business.
“It’s a career that you never stop learning. When I took on this project, I just dove in and kept reading,” he said. “It’s the process I use for architecture, and it’s the process I use for this business.”
The power couple plans to eventually bring in local chefs and sommeliers to collaborate on pairing their spices and hot sauces with wine and cheese, potentially having a line of their own spice one day.
Sayville N Spice is open Monday to Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. On Sundays, the shop will operate from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Read the full story on Patch here.
A new business will be taking over the former Thornhill's Pharmacy in Sayville this week. Owners Matthew and Lauri LaPiana purchased the business last year and began renovations to the historic storefront shortly after. Now, they will open finally their new shop, Sayville N Spice, in the space at 2 Main Street on Sunday starting at 10 a.m.
"In our family, cooking and eating together has always been at the core of our most special memories," Matthew said. "We lead such busy lives as independent business owners, me in architecture and Lauri with her stenography company, Lighthouse Court Reporting. Sayville N Spice is a realization of the time we always carve out for ourselves and we want to encourage others to do the same."
The husband and wife duo will be offering over 250 varieties of spices and hot sauces at their new store, as well as an assortment of dried peppers, salts, pantry essentials, culinary-inspired gifts and homewares. Sayville N Spice will be open on Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In-store shopping requires a face mask and social distancing. Customers can also order items online for pick up at sayvillenspice.com.
Read the story from Greater Sayville here.
Thornhill’s in Sayville is about to get spicy.
The historic pharmacy building with the beloved throwback neon sign will soon be home to Sayville N Spice. Owners Matthew and Lauri LaPiana will open the spice shop on Saturday, Nov. 21.
“In our family, cooking and eating together has always been at the core of our most special memories,” Matthew LaPiana said. “Sayville N Spice is a realization of the time we always carve out for ourselves and we want to encourage others to do the same.”
LaPiana noted the busy lives he and his wife already have led as independent business owners. He is an architect and owns Building Restoration Consultants Unlimited, while Lauri La Piana operates Lighthouse Court Reporting Inc.
The thoughtfully curated selection of spices, hot sauce, craft ingredients, and culinary-inspired gifts inside Sayville N Spice celebrates perhaps the oldest form of expressing culture and history – cooking and sharing meals.
The La Pianas purchased the two-floor building at 2 Main Street in March 2019, and did a complete renovation that included new electrical work, plumbing and lighting.
Meanwhile, the couple fulfilled their goal to retain its historic charm inside and restored the iconic neon Thornhill’s sign outside above the building entrance.
“The chamber is so excited to have this unique addition to our town,” Sayville Chamber of Commerce President Eileen Tyznar said. “Recently, families have re-discovered the importance of family mealtime, more than ever.
“Sayville N Spice will add the extra ingredients to help us discover our true culinary talents, with a kick,” added Tyznar, who with her chamber colleagues will celebrate the shop’s grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 21.
Sayville N Spice will offer more than 250 varieties of spices and hot sauces, an assortment of dried peppers, salts, pantry essentials, culinary-inspired gifts and homewares.
The store will complement neighboring specialty shops downtown, with an interior that is a nod to natural ingredients and sustainability within the environment.
Repurposed pallet wood makes up the long center island and cabinetry in the store. The reclaimed wood shelving houses glass containers with sustainable bamboo tops. On one wall, pale wooden herb and produce boxes have been reimagined as shelving for hot sauces and other items.
The white and navy blue tile floor complements the space, along with the exposed 103-year-old wood paneling on the ceiling.
“Having worked for a large regional fashion retail company, I developed a love for merchandising and working with a team of people with varying levels of expertise,” Lauri La Piana said. “The work is a culmination of different ideas coming together, and we’ve done the same in our store with various craftsmen, thinkers and brands bringing this vision to life.”
Sayville N Spice will be open on Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and on Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In-store shopping will require a face mask and social distancing. Customers can order items online for pick up at sayvillenspice.com.
Sayville N Spice offers 250+ varieties of hot sauce and spices. With that many flavor options, you're going to use hot sauce for more than just wings! We've compiled a list of 20 things to do with hot sauce...
1- Add to scrambled eggs
2- Add a perk to your hollandaise sauce
3- Put a dash of heat into ribs
4- Whisk into a vinaigrette for a salad
5- Add a bang to your burger
6- Swirl into soups- great during cold season to ease congestion
7- Create a spicy mayonnaise as a dipping sauce or spread
8- Warm up with some Mexican hot chocolate
9- Liven up your cocktail sauce
10- Melt with butter and pour over popcorn
11- Melt with cheese or chocolate for some hot fondue
12- Dollop on raw oysters
13- Stir into shepherd's pie to spice up an old classic
14- Add to chutney for a little pep to the sweetness
15- Mix with caramelized onions, top a burger
16- Stir into mustard and use on a hot dog or dip for pigs in a blanket
17- Add to left over pulled pork to make pulled pork tacos
18- Combine a few drops with simple syrup then toss with a fruit salad
19- Flavor to your tartar sauce
20-Add to ground pork to make your own breakfast sausage patties
Do you have another go-to use for hot sauce? Let us know so we can add it to the list!