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Carroll Gardens Coffee Shop Back Up and Running After Roaster Fire

By Natalie Musumeci | October 4, 2012 4:23pm

BROOKLYN — Owners of D’Amico Foods in Carroll Gardens carried on with business as usual Thursday despite a fire that broke out inside the coffee roaster, the shop's cornerstone, the day the before.

The fire broke out Wednesday around 3:20 p.m. at the shop at 309 Court St., prompting more than 60 firefighters to respond to the scene, fire officials said. The shop was forced to evacuate and shut down.

“Other than the roaster everything is business as usual. It’s gonna take a lot more than a fire to shut down D’Amico’s,” said Joan D’Amico, 56, who has run the 74-year-old shop with her husband Frank D'Amico Jr. for more than 20 years. “The damage could have been so much worse. I’m really thankful that it was contained in that one spot.”

Although no one was hurt and a minor section of the ceiling above the roaster was ripped out, the store’s 18-year-old coffee roaster, that owners say would cost about $30,000 to replace, suffered hefty damages.

“The roaster may be kaput,” said Frank D’Amico Jr., 52, adding that it will probably take a month before the shop starts in-house roasting again.

“But we’re still gonna have coffee,” said Frank Jr. “Someone else is going to roast for us, but with our own blends.”

As the D’Amico’s and store employees began mopping the floors, wiping down the walls, and throwing out remnants of debris from the shop early Thursday morning, concerned patrons stopped by to offer their support to the neighborhood staple.

Michele Pravola, 40, of Carroll Gardens, who often buys coffee from the shop wanted to see if everything was all right.

“I think the whole neighborhood was really worried. Everyone’s first reaction was, ‘Oh my God, this is D’Amico’s.’ I’m happy to see that the fire was contained and that no one was hurt.”

“It would be horrible if we ever lost this place,” said Nancy Cavagnuolo, 63, owner of a hair salon next door to D’Amico Foods. “They gotta get that roaster back up and working again.”

Frank P., 78, comes from Midwood everyday to get his coffee fix at D’Amico Foods.

“They have great coffee and they are great people,” he said. “I would feel very bad if the damage was worse.”

Joan D’Amico said she was grateful for the outpouring of support from her customers.

“Everybody has been extremely supportive. Everybody has been asking if they can do anything to help. They’ve been great.”