Though tested, the quintessential Queens store is still down the block
Claudine Noce tends to a customer at Claudine & Co., the Howard Beach salon her parents, Vincent and Terri Punzi, inset left, named for her when they started it more than 25 years ago. The family is “the nucleus of the business,” Vincent Punzi said.
Another family business is J&J Super Star Deli in Rego Park, headed by Winnie and Ayman Alim, center. They’re joined here by family friend and former employee Taher Edris, left, their son, Joseph Alim, a cousin, Mohammed Alim, and employee Victor Darlington. The store was named for Joseph and his sister, Jasmine.
The guys behind the counter at Ben’s Best Gourmet Delicatessen and Caterers in Rego Park: Mustafa Choudhury, left, Jay Parker, whose father founded the business 68 years ago, and Richard Meseika.
Service with a smile is what you’ll get from Nicole Bongiovi, left, and Jasmine Rodriguez at Twist It Top It, the new frozen yogurt place in Forest Hills. The shop is the second location of a business that first opened in Howard Beach.
Among the regulars at Twist It Top It in Forest Hills are Teri Basile, left, herself a small business owner, and Dom Allegro. And talk about regulars — Kenn Brown, in striped shirt, still gets his hair cut at Claudine & Co., the Howard Beach staple owned by the family of his friend Vincent Punzi, even though Brown moved to upstate Saratoga Springs.
Nicholas Gramenides and his son, Peter, outside their business, Cross Bay Travel Service of Howard Beach. Having faced down Hurricane Sandy, they make a point of saying they’re not going anywhere.