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New Businesses Report Benefiting from Vast Stony Brook Community

Businesses new to the area may find customers in the community of residents and commuters Stony Brook provides.

and are two of the main attractions for businesses opening in Three Village, according to local proprietors that have opened recently.

, , , and are among several businesses whose owners decided to try their luck with the Three Village area despite the tough economic times.

“It was a combination of the right demographic, high population and great visibility near the Stony Brook campus that made Three Village a great fit for the Red Mango store,” said Monica Feid, vice president and principal of BizCom Associates, on behalf of Red Mango. She also said the Stony Brook location of Red Mango is one of the company’s most successful locations in the country.

Although the population of Setauket-East Setauket has decreased by 2.8 percent over the past decade and remained nearly flat in Stony Brook, according to recent Census data, new businesses in Three Village still have potential customers in the thousands of students, faculty, and families associated with the university and the hospital. The university alone had 20,654 students during the fall semester of 2011. Over 9,000 students resided on campus, in close proximity to the businesses in town.

According to hospital data, Stony Brook University Medical Center employs over 14,000 individuals, offering yet another large customer base for nearby businesses. With over 500 beds and an average patient stay of 5.84 days, the hospital generates additional traffic through visitors.

Areas in Three Village boast median household incomes greater than $107,000 – higher than that of nearby towns such as Smithtown and Port Jefferson. Even if there was no university or hospital, the affluence of the area alone makes it more desirable for select businesses.

Steve Cusack, owner of Long Island Strength and Conditioning, admitted that his gym would have less of a chance at success in a “less affluent neighborhood.” While none of his customers are from the university, that factor alone was enough to bring him to Three Village.

“We’re a service business and we opened the type of service that wouldn’t be in demand in every area,” said Cusack.

Although Cusack has no customers from the university, he said he does have a large customer base from hospital employees.

Rumpelstiltskin Yarns also serves many hospital employees—several of which were customers from their first location in Sayville.

The decision of where to open the second location of Rumpelstiltskin Yarns came by chance when owners Vincent and Angela D’Aguanno spotted the available space in the Stony Brook Village Center last year.

"We have a lot of customers that are from this area,” Vincent D' Aguanno said. “A lot of our clients are nurses, doctors, or teachers.”

Dana Colletti, daughter of the owners of The Crushed Olive, said that while they originally opened a location in the Stony Brook Village Center upon request, the closeness of the hospital and university has generated additional traffic with commuters.  

New businesses will also benefit from annual events held at the university including sporting events and graduation ceremonies—both of which attract hundreds of family members from across the country. Over 8,000 people filled at Stony Brook for the 2011 Homecoming game.

“The Three Village location is a prime spot, with high traffic and visibility in a great shopping center right off campus,” Feid said.

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