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New Businesses in Eastchester Working Hard

This is the second in a series about new businesses in Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville.

Back in July, Debbi Rifelli-John was swamped at her brand new store Nuts about Yogurt, located on Mill Road in Eastchester.

Rifelli-John, along with her husband Charles John and her sister-in-law Debbie Rifelli, opened Nuts about Yogurt in April.

Business had been good, she said of the self-serve frozen yogurt store, which features no less than 25 different toppings. On a bright sunny day last summer, business went from good to booming.

"We have been extremely busy," Rifelli-John said. "Everyone comes home from work, they want to get out of the house a little bit and they come here."

On another bright sunny day in November, when there was a chill in the air, the store was quiet.

"It has been slow, but we are adding hot chocolate and hot pretzels and people have been responding to that," said partner Charles John. "We also are trying out frozen yogurt pies, which have been selling well."

John said Eastchester officials made it easy for him to open quickly before the summer heat earlier this year.

"We definitely felt the support of everyone in town from the town itself to our community here and surrounding communities," John said. "They asked us to do certain things, we did them and the process was smooth."

Across the street, Michael Mannarino and John Greco just opened Louis and Johnnie's Clam Bar and Cheese Steaks about two months ago.

"it is definitely a bold move to open any kind of new business in this economy," said Mannarino, "But we sell a good product, something different and the response has been good."Mannarino is not new to owning his own business. He and partner John Greco have owned Louie and Johnnie's restaurant in Yonkers for 16 years.

"With this restaurant we tried to come up with fast food, but fresh fast food," he said.

The restaurant, open seven days a week, has an retro style counter with stools and features huge steak sandwiches, homemade French fries and soups and salads, among other items.

"People know that if you support your local businesses that we will always be here for you," Mannarino said.

Although they have never met, John at the frozen yogurt shop agrees with Mannarino.

"We want to be here for our loyal customers next summer," John said. "If we make it through the winter, we will probably be here for a long time."

Down the block from Mannarino's store is a sign taped to a covered storefront window. Teresa's Bakery and Cafe coming soon...watch for our grand opening.

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