The former owner of the Cause Café in Northport has found a new purpose.
Stacey Wohl recently opened be(Cause) Lifestyle Boutique, which sells clothing, jewelry, body products, art and home goods produced mostly by artisans and female-owned businesses from around the world.
Located at 396 Larkfield Rd. in East Northport, the shop has a large share of products whose sales help support the disadvantaged communities from which they originate.
“It’s eclectic. I lost myself in autism for the last 20 years, and I found myself in here,” said Wohl, of East Northport.
Wohl’s daughter, Brittney, 20, and son, Logan, 18, have autism, a developmental disorder whose characteristics can include impairments in social interaction and communication skills and rigid, repetitive behaviors.
“I did this business for my daughter,” said Wohl, who hired Brittney to work in the shop.
The 1,200-square-foot boutique is a “bohemian lifestyle brand store,” Wohl said.
Its merchandise includes wooden bowls and eating utensils from a Kenyan company, Jedando African Handcrafts, which offers sustainable income to craftspeople; colorful children’s sundresses from Global Mamas, which creates and sells handmade products from women in Ghana; and T-shirts from Sudara, which invests in job training for Indian women who are at risk for or have survived sex trafficking.
There are also items made closer to home, such as pottery from Fisheye Brooklyn and Little Bear Pots, both in Brooklyn, and the boutique’s own line of lipsticks and lip kits.
“This is me doing what I love to do and giving back to the community,” Wohl said.
She used to own Cause Café, a restaurant she opened in 2016 that hired young adults with disabilities. A share of the proceeds were donated to Our Own Place, a charity Wohl founded that supports autistic children, and other charities that work with the disabled.
But the cafe closed for the third time in January, she said. Three employees from the cafe are working at the boutique now, Wohl said.
A former fit model, showroom saleswoman and designer in the fashion industry, Wohl saw the boutique as an opportunity to get back to her roots, she said.
“This was my passion from before. So now I’m doing what I like to do and [Brittney’s] happy," she said.
Be(Cause) Lifestyle Boutique still will sell the cafe’s coffee, which is microroasted in Brooklyn, and cookies and brownies made by a baker in Huntington.
Retail Roundup is a column about major retail news on Long Island — store openings, closings, expansions, acquisitions, etc. — that is published online and in the Monday paper. To read more of these columns, click here. If you have news to share, please send an email to Newsday reporter Tory N. Parrish at firstname.lastname@example.org.