Opening a business in this area is a dangerous endeavor because the climate is incredibly fickle. Locals are not quick to support small business and tourism is not a year-round support. I remember peeking into the building that was the old Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop just after the old owners (an old school Italian restaurant with faded silk flowers and checkered tablecloths adorning the tables) moved out and imagining the various businesses that would be suited for the space. My friend, now the Chef at Oyster Bay Yacht Club, dreamed of opening a small quick dine restaurant in the old house. When he inquired about the availability he found that the space had already been leased to someone planning to open a bakery. We had lengthy conversations about whether or not another bakery would succeed here. Little did we know that Teresa Markarin would open one of the most creative and popular locations on the island, bringing to life any cake concept imaginable.
Fast forward a few years to the present. Nana Teresa’s announced that they would be moving to a location just down from Timoti’s in order to expand the successful bakery concept into an old fashioned soda shop. Last week I ventured into the new shop to order my daughter’s Alice in Wonderland themed cake for her birthday party and fell in love with the new space. Big checkered black and white floors with colorful décor and an old fashioned soda counter. Specialty soda flavors and handcrafted milkshakes in flavors like cotton candy. Cupcakes, pastries, and cookies line display cases around the shop. Sugar heaven.
I took my girls back because I knew that this would quickly move to their favorite spot on the island. I was right. THey sat at the counter and each ordered the cotton candy milkshake. I ordered a black cherry soda. The Soda Jerk (their term) gave the girls each an old fashioned paper hat to wear. They were over the moon. We ordered one s’mores cupcake to go, complete with a charred marshmallow on top, for Brandon to enjoy at home.
Nana Teresa’s is magical. If you have children or if you are a child at heart or if you are grumpy and need an attitude adjustment, immediately go downtown to visit this adorable little soda shop. Instant joy. This is the perfect addition to our historic downtown.