Christine CorradoJul 12, 2017, 10:10 amJul 15, 2017, 9:10 am

Family-owned coffee shop in Croton-on-Hudson Metro-North station at risk of closing

Sean and Christine Cohen, who run Nance's Coffee, say the MTA put their lease up for bidding


A small business in Croton-on-Hudson owned for more than half a century by a Westchester county family is at risk of closing.

Serving up smiles with a hot cup of coffee for 51 years is what members of the Marafito family do best day in and day out at the Metro-North station.

But over the past year, the family says they've been worried as their typical long-term lease was cut short suddenly by the MTA down to a month-to-month lease. The family says the MTA is putting their lease up for bidding in what they're calling a closed-door process.

"We received a letter saying, 'oh thanks for running the business month-to-month. We're putting it up for bid.' We received this letter sometime like 21st or 22nd of June and we only have until like, you know, in a few weeks," says coffee shop co-owner Sean Cohen.

It's a shock to the family given how many years they've served the community.

"We do get a lot of regulars. Not only Croton people, but Orange County, Dutchess, Putnam and they're family. I've been here 20 years and they're family. They really care and, you know, it'd be horrible. I'd miss seeing these people," says co-owner Christine Cohen.

As well as the tragedy they've witnessed right on the very tracks of the station. Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of founder Theresa Marafito's death. She was struck and killed by an Amtrak train there.

So far, all the family has been able to do is start an online petition to round up community support and hope the MTA will have a change of heart. But until then - they have a message:

"MTA, this has been my grandparent's business for 51 years and we intend to carry it on for 51 more," says Sean Cohen.

The Marafito family says they've reached out to the MTA directly for more answers, but they haven't received a clear response. However, MTA officials are scheduled to be at the station Thursday for a walk-through of the coffee shop where they family hopes to work out a new long-term lease.



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