Mother and daughter Laura and Jenna Napolitano run shops in...

Mother and daughter Laura and Jenna Napolitano run shops in the same building in Farmingdale. Laura owns thrift shop Back In Time and Jenna runs Elise’s Niece’s Cafe. Credit: Back in Time/ Elise’s Niece’s Cafe

The spirits of inspirational women flow through Back in Time vintage décor shop and Elise’s Niece's Cafe in Farmingdale.

Mother and daughter Laura and Jenna Napolitano run the shops in the same building, which has become a welcoming space in town. But none of it would have been possible without the special women in the owners’ lives.

“It started out with my store and then Jenna added a cafe in the back,” Laura says.

“It’s definitely grown to more than we ever thought it would be,” Jenna adds.

Laura always wanted to open an antique shop and when a location in town became available, she jumped at the opportunity. 

In March 2019, Laura bought the retail spot on Main Street from Ellen Pence, the then-80-year-old owner. The location was previously an antique store that was a community staple for 40 years. Pence died about two years later.

“I was talking to her and befriended her,” Laura says. “I was like, ‘She’s 80 years old, she comes to work everyday by herself. If she can do it, I can do it.’ She was tough but encouraging. She told me, ‘You can definitely do it.’”

Laura's shop is full of vintage finds, old and new repurposed home décor. Visitors will also find local handmade items such as soaps and candles.

About a year into owning Back in Time, the pandemic hit. Then Laura’s sister, Elise McCullough, another strong supporter of her business, died in May 2020 of melanoma.

Around the same time, Jenna was laid off from her corporate job in the fashion industry. As a result, Jenna spent lots of time baking, something she and McCullough had bonded over. 

Jenna opened the cafe in 2021 and named it after her beloved aunt. Her parents added onto the building to create the space and Jenna used all her savings to design and fill it with equipment and décor.

Menu items at the cafe include coffee, hot chocolate, beer, wine and Champagne, as well as cookies, cakes, muffins, loaves, specialty desserts like whoopie pies, crumb cake, brownies, cake pops and banana pudding.

“I feel like when Aunt Elise passed, I got her baking powers,” Jenna says. “I was on a rampage baking everything, and it was almost blessed upon me.”

“We turned lemons into lemonade,” Laura notes.

Now the shop emanates the same warmth and hospitality the women received from the women before them. Not only that, as a dynamic mother-daughter duo, they help each other grow every step of the way.

“We bounce a million ideas off each other,” Jenna says. “We both have learned so much from each other.”

441 Main St., 516-586 8443,; 516-455-7775,

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