A cafe on Fire Island in New York celebrates Pride by giving back to the community

FIRE ISLAND, New York — When it comes to Fire Island in New York, the beach and the community are the big draws, especially for members of the gay community who have found refuge in Cherry Grove and the Pines.

Randy Lauwasser began his travels in the Pines in 1985 while her husband, Jim Skicki, followed suit in 2003 when he and Randy started dating.

“I came here from the Midwest and for me it was like a place out of a fairy tale,” Lauwasser said.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, they headed to their Fire Island home, where the idea for BeachBreak Coffee was born.

“Beach break is a surfing term, it’s where the wave breaks on a sandbar and that’s what we have here and also of course it refers to a coffee break,” said Skiki.

Their beans are roasted in Savannah, Georgia, and ground in their home on Fire Island with varieties named after communities.

“We have a Pines which is Guatemalan, we have a Cherry Grove which is Colombian, we have a Lighthouse Espresso blend,” Skicki said.

The products are distributed in the manner of Fire Island.

“We’re distributing up and down Fire Island. I have my e-bike and that opened up the distribution part of it,” Lauwasser said.

Due to some business restrictions on the island, they weren’t able to open their dream cafe, but shops off and on the island are stocking their product.

This includes Denizen, which opened last summer.

“I love their branding. They have an incredible history, they have an incredibly rich business experience with their expertise and that they bring to their new business,” said owner Ryan Espinosa.

Ryan Espinosa was happy to sell BeachBreak because it honors the place he loves.

There is now a Pride release, a portion of this month’s proceeds will help two artist residency programs on Fire Island.

“It gives us the opportunity to give back to the community, which is wonderful,” Lauwasser said.

The NYC Pride March special, co-hosted by Angelica Ross with WABC’s Ken Rosato, Lauren Glassberg and Sam Champion, will return for its sixth consecutive year on ABC 7 from 12:00-3:00 PM ET on Sunday, June 26 also on abc7NY.com , ABC News Live and ABC7 New York connected TV apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku streaming platforms

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