When Jennifer Tarulli opened Beanberry Coffee & Yogurt in March, she knew that her mom-and-pop shop, situated halfway between a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Starbucks on Route 25A in Miller Place, would need to have an edge on its corporate competition.
So Tarulli set out to showcase her house-made baked goods and coffee from Love Lane Coffee Co. At Beanberry, which has wood floors, sage-green walls and a brown leather love seat among wood tables, Tarulli offers a large menu of specialty coffee drinks and herbal teas along with a frozen yogurt bar. The bar features Whippacinos, a blended yogurt and coffee drink.
“I think we have something a little different,” said Tarulli, 38, who lives in Miller Place with her husband, Ronnie, 38, and son, Colin, 4. She said the couple saw a need not just for a cozy coffee shop, but a place for friends to convene, listen to live music and soon enough, have a glass of wine or beer, or an alcohol-spiked coffee drink.
With the cafe a few months shy of its first birthday, Beanberry has a spate of regular customers, and Tarulli has plans to expand the coffee house’s offerings. She said she hopes to get final approval for her beer and wine license within a couple of weeks.
“We have live music on Fridays and Saturdays and open mic on Tuesdays,” she said. “So we just thought it would be nice if people could have a glass of wine or beer while they are listening to the music.”
The cafe also offers a light-fare menu that includes soups and sandwiches, and Tarulli said many customers take advantage of free Wi-Fi.
Though Beanberry is Tarulli’s first venture into the food business, Ronnie Tarulli owns a catering facility and advises his wife. He said Jennifer has been baking for about 10 years, and the shop is a passion she always wanted to explore.
“She’s always wanted to own a business, and she loves to bake,” he said. "She’s really good at it, she loves what she does, and she takes pride in that.”
If Beanberry continues to see success, the couple would love to open additional locations, he said.