He’s about more than just coffee
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When the economy crashed, many companies that Classic Coffee Systems served downsized. Fewer employees meant fewer sales for Chiarello’s business. He said it was one of the most stressful and challenging times in his life, but a determination to succeed kept his business afloat.
Before the recession, Chiarello said there were 30 to 35 similar businesses to his in the metropolitan area. Most either closed or were sold, and Classic Coffee Systems remains one of a handful still left. “It’s very rewarding that we were able to survive when other companies did not,” he said.
Chiarello said it was that same determination that got the business through its first few years of existence. With a 3-year-old at home and his job providing the only income, Chiarello and his partner refused to fail.
His business is all about developing relationships. Chiarello said he is very loyal to his clients, and makes sure his employees share in his business’s success.
Classic Coffee Systems has been a member of the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce since the business first moved to Valley Stream. Chiarello is a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, his second time serving in that capacity.
Chiarello said he believes any community is strengthened by a having a vibrant, unified business community, and the Chamber of Commerce plays a big role in that. Even though most of his clients are outside of Valley Stream, he still wants to be involved. “I can’t sit by and make believe the rest of the Valley Stream business community doesn’t exist,” he said. “I don’t understand why more business aren’t involved in the Chamber.”
Debbi Gyulay, president of the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce, said Chiarello was selected as this year’s Small Businessperson of the Year because of his success as a business owner and for his commitment to the community. “He is a true example of a caring, concerned and active community member,” she said.
Chiarello was a member of the planning committee that organized the Valley Stream Community Fest, which was held for the first time on Rockaway Avenue on Sept. 29. He said the street fair was a huge success, and plans to be involved again to make next year’s event bigger and better.