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Family Tradition Percolates at Sunset Park Independent Coffee Shop

By Alan Neuhauser | October 22, 2012 1:21pm | Updated on October 23, 2012 8:13am

SUNSET PARK — The only thing stronger than the java at one of Sunset Park's only independent coffee shops is the family tradition, which is continuing as the store was passed down to the next generation last week.

Rosalie Milito and niece Teresa Generoso took over the Green Fig Bakery Cafe on 36th Street from Generoso's uncle last Monday, and they say they're looking forward to expanding the popular shop's menu of sandwiches and pastries.

"It's already a nice place, and, after a little, we'll have more than what they had before and see if people like it," Generoso, 26, said.

The cafe sits in a sizable two-story storefront around the corner from Green-Wood Cemetery on 36th Street. An electric self-service dumbwaiter lifts food and drinks to a softly lit sitting area upstairs, which is scattered with tables, sofas, hardcover books, board games and a stand of acoustic guitars.

The shop is not Generoso's first foray into business. For six years, she and Milito owned Royal Crown Panino Magnifico in Borough Park, which closed last year.

"We work well together," Generoso said. "We fit into each other's work. We don't have to tell each other anything, we just know it already."

The pair said it plans to resume hosting the cafe's Thursday night open mic nights, and hold other events, such as movie nights, during the week.

"We got to take little-by-little," Generoso said. "What we're doing is making people feel comfortable and offering the cooking we know how to do."