The Manhasset Chamber of Commerce last Wednesday honored 14 member businesses that have operated for 25 years or more.
“I had the idea to recognize these longtime businesses because my own was celebrating its 25th anniversary this month,” said Nancy Morris, the outgoing president of the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce and the operator of a State Farm insurance agency.
“Why not celebrate?” she added. “It’s an accomplishment.”
Seventy-five people attended the luncheon at the Plandome Country Club, among them North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Anna Kaplan.
“Business owners have to understand you can do more collectively than you can by yourself,” Morris said. “Running a business isn’t just unlocking a door and putting up a sign. It’s about being involved and being a player.”
Another one of the honorees, David Haghani, has operated clothing stores like Loop and Gallery Couture for the past 25 years.
“Success is knowing who your clientele is, knowing your product, and giving customer service,” he said. “It’s also being involved with the community whether at charities, events or fashion shows.”
Haghani, the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce president for a one-year term in 2014, credited the chamber with helping him remain in business as long as he has.
“The chamber is anxious to help,” he said. “You can go to them and have a conversation with anyone on the board about any kind of idea and they’ll try to make arrangements to make it happen for you.”
“People need to recognize it’s not only the point of the chamber what they can do for us, but what store owners and business owners can do for the chamber,” he added.
Haghani said it’s important that longtime businesses like his avoid complacency.
“We have to be on top of things,” he said. “We can’t get comfortable because we’ve been here for so long. Every day is a new challenge and every day is a new opportunity.”
Besides Morris and Haghani, the other honorees were Amy Ziesal, Coral Reef Travel; Alex Otis, Manhasset Florist; Franz Steiner, Steiner’s Pastry Shop; Joseph Commisso, Joseph’s Haircutters; Robert Stainkamp, Town & Country Flowers; Donald Bekteshi, Villa Milano; Peter Pagonis, Louie’s Manhasset Restaurant; Alexandra Troy, Culinary Architect; Geri and Carol Kushner, Music Institute of Long Island; Lillian Lindergen, Olive Duntley Florist; Tom Fountain and Ken Hass, Manhasset Delicatessen; and Lee and Michael Temares, Antiquarian books.
Haghani said the best part of staying in business for 25 years has been getting to know members of the community.
“Clients have become friends and we go to dinner with them and hang out with their families,” he said. “I’ve known their kids since they were young. Some have gotten married and moved back to Manhasset and had their own kids—generation after generation. It’s fortunate to be a part of the community for so long.”
At the luncheon the chamber recognized its incoming co-presidents: Stephanie Solomon, the owner of Chocolate Works; and T.J. Costello, the principal at Hierarchy Architects.