By Scott Terwilliger and Xian Wornell
The Lynbrook doughnut and coffee shop Doughology raised nearly $8,000 Tuesday through Thursday of last week for the family of NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen.
A retired NYPD Detective, Chris Stiansen, and his wife Jackie Stiansen, a former stock broker, established the shop in 2016, shortly after Jackie recovered from breast cancer. Both Stiansens wanted to raise money for Detective Simonsen, who was killed in Queens last month after a friendly fire incident.
“We wanted to open a place and do something for others,” Chris Stiansen said.
In recent years they collectively fundraised to other causes, such as breast cancer, Angelman syndrome, and Relay for Life. They previously raised over $8,000 in 2017 for the family of Officer Miosotis Familia, who was killed by gunfire.
“I didn’t open up a business to make a million dollars,” Jackie Stiansen said. “I hope I could do the same thing for everybody that I do here [Lynbrook].”
Even with specialty features like a make-your-own-doughnut bar, the new Doughology location in Babylon is up against local business like Villa Bella, which specializes in Italian pastries and other sweets and is less than three miles away on Little East Neck Road.
“It was pretty good when we first started over here [in Babylon],” Sandra Carroccetto, who works at Villa Bella, said. The bakery has earned 4.6 stars out of five based on 71 Google reviews. “We have what a lot of places don’t carry, so I’m not too worried about [competition]. Never worried about that.”
Even closer is Jack Jack’s Coffee House, under a half a mile away from the new Doughology shop.
“[Opening a business in Babylon] is just like opening any new business, there’s just a lot of hurdles at the very beginning,” Vanessa Viola, proprietor at Jack Jack’s Coffee House, said. “You’re basically working until you’re ready to launch.”
The Doughology in Lynbrook does “have great coffee service,” Viola added.
The new shop has gained traction on social media tracking high rates, shares and likes, Kelly Peckholdt, President of the Local Chamber of Commerce, said. The announcement on their Facebook page on February 25 garnered over 2,000 reactions, 1,000 comments, and nearly 1,000 shares.
“I think it [Doughology] is kind of different from [the local bakeries] we have. Any new shop coming into town offers a friendly competition,” Peckholdt said.
Babylon has less than a dozen bakeries sprinkled throughout the village. These bakeries like Villa Bella and Jack Jack’s Coffee House will have the chance to see what they are made of in light of a new shop opening up soon, and then will need to stand to the challenge, Peckholdt said.
People enjoying themselves is part of what drives Doughology and Jackie Stiansen. Stiansen said she feels her happiest when she sees all the chairs and tables filled with people eating their bake goods and enjoying themselves with a cup of coffee.
“If I got a second chance I was going to pay it forward,” Jackie Stiansen said.