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Croton Residents Protest To Save Longtime Coffee Shop

Croton officials are rallying around a longtime coffee shop that could be forced to close.
Croton officials are rallying around a longtime coffee shop that could be forced to close. Photo Credit: Contributed

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Nance's Coffee has been a fixture at the Croton Harmon train station for more than 50 years and residents are hoping it stays that way.

The license agreement for Nance's has expired and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, as required by law, is launching an open process for anyone who wants to fill the space. Croton residents are concerned this could be the end of their coffee shop and held a protest at the train station last Thursday.

The Marafito family initially took over the stand in 1966, accepting a lease from New York Central Railroad.

"The history of the Marafito Family is every bit as much a part of our history as it is part of the history of the MTA," Mayor Greg Schmidt said.  "For more than 50 years, the commuters of Croton have known that when they arrive at the station, they will start their day with coffee and a smile. Nance Marafito Cohen is a Croton institution. She has diligently served the commuters of Croton, and her customers are the MTA’s customers."

Senator Terrence Murphy criticized the MTA, saying common sense has overshadowed profiteering.

"New York State continues to make it too expensive for businesses to survive and here we have a prime example of New York bureaucracy undercutting a staple of our community," Murphy said. "What is happening to the Cohen Family is indicative of what is happening to businesses across New York State."

Nancy Gamerman, a spokesman for the MTA, said they are simply following state law.

"We recognize that the Marifito family has served with distinction for more than 50 years, and they are encouraged to submit a proposal for the space, so they can have the opportunity to continue to operate the stand," Gamerman said.

Bids are due by August 4. A petition has attracted more than 1100 signatures.

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