Strangers to Sayville's downtown are in for a surprise if they need a bottle of aspirin from 2 Main Street. The sign may say drugs and cosmetics but inside is a different kind of apothecary magic--a dispensary for all things necessary to spice up your culinary life.
The home of historic Thornhill's drug store since 1918, 2 Main Street has been transformed. The old Thornhill sign is still there--a landmark on Sayville's Main Street for decades--but below the ornate neon lettering is the doorway to Sayville N Spice and hundreds of spices, dry rubs and hot sauces.
Behind the counter, which is situated where Thornhill's original soda fountain station was, is Matthew and Lauri La Piana, the couple who, since opening November 2020, has kicked it up a notch for Sayville shoppers.
Sayville native La Piana, 46, is an architect who used the skills he honed at the University of Buffalo masters program to restore the old building after sitting vacant for quite some time. Everyone in Sayville kept wondering what was to become of the old Thornhill location but mostly because of the sign. It was a thing of retro beauty, just waiting for a little TLC. Losing it would have been unthinkable.
After purchasing the building and trying out a few things to make it work profitably, the La Pianas surveyed residents on what they wanted to see at the site. Several suggestions were made, including a museum, coffee shop, ice cream parlor, and bookstore. But one thing was clear, Matthew La Piana said: "It was evident that people wanted it to be nostalgic." And he just loved the sign, so he restored the sign's neon qualities, shined it up and left it on the store.
So how does an expert in building restoration and a court stenographer get interested in spices?
"I was looking to kind of create maybe a business that would complement the other businesses around and also kind of fit with the original intention and...spices are closely aligned to mixing things" La Piana said in an interview for the Food Lede podcast.
And you heard it here first: American Cheese, which was once located on Railroad Avenue, will be sharing space with the La Pianas so cheese and spices are pairing up at 2 Main Street. And, don't be surprised to see an old-fashioned ice cream parlor in that space either.
Matthew La Piana is the CEO of Building Restoration Consultants Unlimited and Lauri is the founder and president of Lighthouse Court Reporting. They have a 3-year-old son, Maximus. Visit them at the store:
Sayville N Spice, 2 Main Street, sayvillenspice.com; (631) 589-0005.