Milano Bean Café in East Islip has an atmosphere that feels like home.
This is the environment the owner, Tiger Schofield, said he wants to convey to those who visit his neighborhood coffee shop that opened earlier this year at 51 West Main Street in East Islip.
Comfy couches and seating are available throughout the café, as well as an electric fireplace that patrons can cozy up to while sipping on an espresso or working on a paper.
It’s a place not only for coffee, but for conversation, working, and for patrons who need to unwind, he said.
Those who enter are greeted with smiles by Schofield’s wife, Josette, and manager, Jody. The women always try to make personal connections with the customers.
“We don’t treat you as business, or for money, we treat you like real family,” Schofield said.
Recurring visitors, like Audrey Schroder, said the Milano Bean crew make her feel comfortable to talk about anything.
“It’s better than ‘Cheers,’ Schroder said.
Schofield, who is originally from Jordan but now lives in East Islip, said he came up with the café’s name after frequently visiting Milan in Italy.
He said countries like Jordan and Egypt have cafés with similar names as well.
Besides Milano Bean, he said he also owns several coffee operations in New York City and Brooklyn.
Prior to his East Islip venture, he ran a florist shop in the town, but when COVID-19 hit, he had to shut it down.
When he heard a spot opened up at a former thrift shop on Main Street, he said he had to jump on the opportunity and shift to the food business locally.
Schofield wears other business hats as well — he runs gas stations in New Jersey and Philadelphia, as well as a NYC deli.
He had previously worked in interior design in apartments, and he continues to use this skill when decorating his café and other businesses for the seasons.
Milano Bean Café’s menu features the classic espresso drinks, such as macchiatos, cappuccinos, and mochas, but they also have fresh baked goods and make crepes in-house.
Schofield said next month they will be introducing sandwiches and salads to the menu.
The café officially opened earlier this year, right before the pandemic struck, but Schofield said they were fortunate to have community support through it all.
During the shutdown, Milano Bean Café gave back to the hospitals and healthcare workers, and they continue to support medical personnel, the fire department, police officers and more.
“We make a special day for nurses, a special day for teachers, we did a lot of stuff,” he said.
He hopes to open several other locations across Long Island within the next year. He has already looked at towns like Bay Shore, Sayville, and others in the surrounding area
He said he’s grateful for the community and his employees, who have also become like a second family, for keeping his business alive.
“Without them, I would be closed,” he said. “The kids and the families are very respectful, they always come to visit, they give a lot of business, and I’m thankful for them.”
Below are photos from Milano Bean Café.
For more information, visit the shop’s website.
Top: An espresso made by Milano Bean Café.