First Bank of Greenwich Community Corner: Serving Ada’s: A True Community Coffee Shop
By Richard Kaufman
For nearly 60 years, Ada Cantavero kept generations of residents coming back to her candy store located at 112 Riverside Ave., in Riverside. Now a Greenwich native has helped carry on her legacy, as the community has continuously come back to Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee since it opened almost four years ago.
Michael Pietrafeso, owner of Ada’s, is a graduate of Greenwich High School. He attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City and worked as a private chef and at a few farm-to-table restaurants in the area over the years.
Ron Romaniello, the nephew of the late Cantavero, met with Pietrafeso several years ago and expressed a desire to offer food, while keeping Ada’s tradition of selling candy alive. The rest is history, and Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee was born.
“This was my first venture for myself and my own business. We wanted to do a little more upscale, food driven concept but still have the candy and that neighborhood feel,” Pietrafeso said.
Ada’s offers scratch made sandwiches, salads and bowls for breakfast and lunch, along with coffee and of course, candy, all made from fresh, local ingredients from farms in the tri-state area and Pennsylvania. The menu changes seasonally, and is takeout only.
Pietrafeso has expanded by opening Roost, a similar business, in Darien. Another location will open up soon in Stamford that will feature beer, wine and table service.
Pietrafeso said it’s been rewarding to carry on Ada’s legacy, and be a staple in the community where people can come for good food and good coffee.
“It’s rewarding because of the neighborhood and the relationships I’ve created, and also how many jobs we’ve created and growing the business with new locations. It’s really cool. I’ve been lucky,” he said.
As customers come in through the front door, Pietrefaso can often be seen greeting people and catching up with friends.
“The people who come in here come in seven times a week. Every face that comes in, we know their order before they get up to the counter. It’s such a great neighborhood,” he added.
Because he’s so community oriented, Pietrafeso started to do business with the First Bank of Greenwich when he became the owner and the building underwent renovations four years ago.
“I feel like they’re the best bank around. From day one, they’ve had the best customer service. I walk in and I get a greeting from every single person. They’ve been wonderful,” Pietrafeso said.
FBOG President and CEO, Frank Gaudio, said he likes to support small business owners like Pietrafeso.
“I think Mike is one of the best entrepreneurs I’ve seen in Greenwich. He works really hard, he’s a family man, he loves his community and he loves what he does here. I love working with people like Mike, and I want to support him in any way I can,” he said.
For more information on Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee, go to adaskitchenandcoffee.com.