Get your food in a Zippi

Public hearing held for food delivery service

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On Monday, Nov. 1 the board of trustees in the Village of Brightwaters held a public hearing during their regular meeting regarding the company Zippi Delivery, seeking a special-use permit from the board of trustees for the commercial building located at 348 North Windsor Avenue that has been vacant for over five years.

Village attorney Charles J. Casolaro noted Zippy is not seeking a zoning permit but a legislative determination made by the board based on what the applicant presents. The board would be determining whether the applicant’s business “fits” within the village.

Casolaro said he and the village building inspector determined that because Zippy plans to use the building for multiple uses, they believed it was best to refer the matter to the board of trustees as a special use permit.

“The board has wide discretion here,” Casolaro said. “They can impose conditions if they so choose.” 

In a letter sent to the village planning board and distributed at the meeting, Zippi Delivery states they are an online mobile app for food delivery.

“Our plan includes eight full-time employees in our office and approximately six kitchen staff for our test kitchen and off-site catering,” the letter states.

Tom Gounaris, the co-founder and CEO of Zippi Delivery, went more in-depth during his presentation to the trustees.

“We are primarily an office,” Gounaris said. “Our office workers are computer programmers and engineers and we’re building a mobile app for food delivery—DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, that sort of thing. What’s different about us is in the back of the office there’s a small test kitchen, and we have chefs who work there and their job is to speak to restaurant owners around the country, consult with them on their menu and help them create new menu ideas that can be added to their existing menu.”

Zippi Delivery plans to make the bulk of their money consulting with restaurants to expand and enhance their menus and therefore will be cheaper for both participating restaurants and customers to use as a delivery service.

“Our office will have in the rear a 618-square-foot test kitchen,’’ the letter said. “We are not a restaurant; there is no on-site dining, neither is there any takeout. We will be using this test kitchen to create menus that can be licensed by restaurants across the country.”

One of the biggest concerns community members had was customers will be able to purchase food from the test kitchen from Zippi Delivery to try and review and that even though there is no sit-down dining or takeout, the delivery cars will create a backup in an already congested area.

Gounaris said because the food from the test kitchen is made to be picked up rapidly, there will be minimal backup. In addition, he noted the kitchen is relatively small and cannot produce high volumes of food.

Another big community concern brought up at the meeting was staff parking. Gounaris said because the business is primarily an office space and not a store with customers, they can manage where their employees park and make sure they are parked in the proper spaces. The business plans to utilize parking down by the railroad.

Zippi Delivery’s office hours plan to be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. M-F, with kitchen hours 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

After listening to community concerns and comments, the board decided to hold their vote on the special-use permit at their working meeting on Nov. 15. Copies of the surveys, construction drawings, and related documents to this application are available for request from the Village of Brightwaters.

No incidents on Halloween

In their report, the Suffolk County Police Department stated there were no incidents reported this Halloween weekend. SCPD noted this could have been due to the lights put up in the fields that better illuminated the area and kept the group of kids that normally congregate away.

Mayor Valdini said that the town is currently working on their ambulance contract. Valdini noted many surrounding towns have been reworking their ambulance contracts so that patients are charged through their insurance. Valdini said he and trustee Fawcett were looking into what is commonly known as “soft billing” for next year’s contract. Valdini said the issue will be further discussed in December. 

Valdini said the planning board along with a consultant, town attorney and building inspector, are reexamining the rezoning of Orinoco Drive. Valdini said that they should be ready to present findings to the public in December.

Trustee Mary Del Vecchio, in her recap of the many events the village hosted in October, noted that over 60 people participated in the Witches Paddle and that the Ragamuffin Parade on Halloween had an incredibly high turnout.

The board approved payment to Deal Concrete Corp in the amount of $10,721.22 for ADA-compliant sidewalk completion at Windsor Avenue at Lawrence Drive and Union Boulevard.

The board approved final payment to ConStar Inc. in the amount of $237,573.25 for the completion of the bulkhead repair project on Concourse East. The total amount to ConStar was $1,285,447.

The board approved payment to Nassau Suffolk Painting in the amount of $2,250 for power washing and waterproof sealer on the deck at Wohseepee Park.

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