When Lisa Andreani was planning her Feb. 20 wedding, she was surprised to find affordable dresses for her bridesmaids in a Nassau County industrial park. Who knew?
"I hesitated to go because it’s not a typical location," Andreani, 36, a police officer who lives in Oceanside, says of an evenwear boutique tucked away in a Bethpage business park.
Lesson learned: Great shopping destinations across Long Island are hiding in plain sight in locations you might not even think about. You just need to know where to look — and that’s true whether you’re after party dresses, sweet treats, beauty bargains or something else.
BUSINESS PARK BOUTIQUE
Andreani credits "word-of-mouth" for the invaluable tip about Here Comes the Bridesmaid, a by-appointment-only salon specializing in dresses and accessories for wedding parties. "My sister-in-law told me about it."
Situated in Bethpage since 2015, the showroom’s exterior reveals zip about what’s inside. "It’s odd. It doesn’t have a storefront," says Andreani.
Once inside, she found dresses by designers including Watters, Hayley Paige, Christina Wu and Bill Levkoff. She felt transported. We’re not in an industrial park any more, Toto!
Here Comes the Bridesmaid premiered as a tiny storefront in the mid-1990s in the East Village in Manhattan. "It’s always been a destination shop," says owner Elizabeth Andrei, who’s run the store since she was in her 20s. She acknowledged that the Long Island location is a bit out of the way but it’s worth the trip. Competitive prices await.
Andreani and her bridesmaids selected fluttery Morilee dark blue dresses that each cost "under $200 each, a good price," she says. Andreani also scored a sequinned-dusted Watters dress for her upcoming party in November to celebrate her marriage to fellow police officer David Andreani, 28.
"I look like a disco ball in it," she says. She purchased a sample dress and paid about half the marked price.
Diane Nemeth, 42, a Farmingdale bookkeeper and mom, discovered Brooklyn Delights Bakery tucked inside Sweet City Snacks & Candy in Farmingdale a year ago, thanks to a coupon. Since then, it’s become her go-to local destination for sweet treats.
"I like to try out different things and help out our local community," she says. "I think a lot of people don’t still know what’s in the store." Brooklyn Delights cookies, muffins, croissants and other baked goods all come individually wrapped, a real plus amid COVID-19 concerns.
"We never really pushed retail up until the pandemic, but we have since then," says owner Frankie Raimondi, 43, who installed a walk-up window to encourage people to shop. "And we’re sticking to it."
"I’m part of the PTA and I got cookies from them to bring to school, and I get all my desserts there," says Nemeth. Her personal favorites are the fudgy brownies promoted on the website as being "a meal in themselves." Her husband, James, and son, Jimmy, agree that the all-vanilla Full Moon cookies are out of this world.
Twelve-packs for each currently cost $19. You can shop online or at the store. The discount is deeper in-person, says Raimondi, because you avoid any fees.
Many beauty bargain-hunters know that discounts on brands under the Estée Lauder umbrella can be found at The Cosmetics Company Store and Cosmetics Warehouse Store at the Tanger Outlets Riverhead. Skin care, hair care, cosmetics and other products from Estée Lauder, Clinique, M.A.C., GlamGlow, Bobbi Brown, Origins and more brands are 30% to 75% off original retail prices.
There’s also an under-the-radar warehouse sale held on Saturday throughout the year in Melville.
You have to RSVP to shop for the same brands that The Cosmetics Company Store carries at 50% off the original retail prices. Summer sales are currently set for July 24, Aug. 7 and Aug. 21.
3 hidden shopping gems
Here Comes the Bridesmaid: 16 Grumman Rd. W #1050, Bethpage; 516-753-9336, bridesmaids.com
Brooklyn Delights Bakery, 1 Frank Rd., Farmingdale, 516-586-8007, store.brooklyndelightsbakery.com/
The Cosmetics Warehouse Sale, 80 Ruland Rd. Melville, 631-559-3168, cosmeticscompanystore.com.