Grand Avenue & 80th Street
Elmhurst, NY 11373
For this issue of the Juniper Berry our spotlight shines on a neighborhood business, Community Beverage on Grand Avenue and 80th Street in Elmhurst. Owner Matthew Crescio shares the business with his Dad, John, a retired NYC firefighter.
Considering what Community has been through over the last few years, Matthew remains a very personable, upbeat guy. He gave a rundown on the current status of Community Beverage as he recalled the thirty years the business has been in Elmhurst. He explained how his business was disrupted recently for several months because the building being erected next door had an accident and Community Beverage’s wall was ruined. It took about nine months to get things back on track and during that time, it is safe to say, their income was negatively impacted.
You will recall that awhile back there was a problem with the Pepsi Corporation refusing to pick up the empty bottles returned to the store, forcing CB to store all of those cans on their roof. We wrote about that in an issue of the Juniper Berry and also showed a picture of the roof, weighted down by hundreds of Pepsi cans. One can conclude that overcoming adversity seems to be the Crescio family gig!
Matthew Crescio is a goal oriented guy, eager to please his customers. He allows his “product” to do the talking for him. Speaking of “product,” Community Beverage has a full range of every drink you could ever want, all competitively priced. The store is huge and all spiffy and modernized. It can almost be described as a one-stop shopping site given the range and variety of products that are displayed.
No article on Community Beverage would be complete without speaking about their reputation for generosity in the neighborhood.
For instance, Community sponsors fund-raising programs for St. Margaret’s Church and Our Lady of Hope. They also sponsor the Transfiguration Youth Sports program and the Father John Savage Memorial Scholarship Fund at Christ the King High School. They participated in a Queens art competition where students from the borough’s schools submitted their designs. A young woman from Christ the King High School won the competition and her prize was a gift certificate to the Queens Center Mall. Community Beverage prefers to employ local kids who are old enough to work and make a few extra dollars.
They have a loyal employee by the name of Tahir Abbas-Syed who has been with Community for several years doing all sorts of necessary jobs. He’s the friendly face that greets customers as they enter the premises.
Matthew Crescio still lives in our area over by the “Plateau,” and he reminisced about some of the past businesses that are no longer in the neighborhood. He said he has old pictures of Community Beverage from when it emerged on the business scene thirty years ago and also pictures of the Tudor Tavern, which was located on Eliot Avenue and 80th Street in Middle Village (remember that cozy place and the personable owners, Joe and May?) and he spoke of how different the area now looks. Matthew was encouraged to submit his photos to the Juniper Berry so that we can all enjoy remembering the neighborhood “the way it was!”
It’s obvious that the Crescios have an eagerness to be neighborhood “good guys.” Through all their trials and tribulations, they’re still here! So, when you are looking for beverages, snacks or anything for your next social event, keep Community Beverage in mind. They have earned your loyalty and hard earned dollars; reward them in kind with your patronage.