Small Business Saturday roundup


Started back in 2010 as a campaign for American Express, Small Business Saturday is an important day for local retailers that reminds holiday shoppers to shop small and frequent mom-and-pop stores for Christmas gifts. Over the years, the event, which takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, has grown, with many local chambers of commerce participating. This year the Islip Bulletin decided to highlight some local small businesses that have great holiday gifts and give back to their community.


Country Village Florist and Gifts

212 East Main St.

East Islip

 Jeanine Amato, owner of Country Village Florist in East Islip.
Jeanine Amato, owner of Country Village Florist in East Islip.
Jeanine Amato, the owner of Country Village Florist in East Islip, truly believes in the power of giving back to her community.

“If you give to your community, your community will be there for you,” Amato said. “That’s key to any small business. That’s the biggest advice I could ever give anybody, and it means donating and giving up some of your time to be there for people and it all comes back three-fold.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amato donated flowers to Momentum nursing home in East Islip, as well as to staff at South Shore University Hospital.

This year for the holiday season, Amato said she has DIY dollhouse kits for adults to create or that a child and adult can put together jointly. Also available are fresh flowers, fruit baskets, gourmet baskets and dried and artificial arrangements. Additionally, Amato said she makes custom-order wreaths and also has grave blankets and items that go to the cemetery available.

December will be Country Village Florist and Gifts’ fifth anniversary and during that time, Amato has become very involved in the community by joining the Rotary Club and the Suffolk County Women’s Alliance to End Food Insecurity.

Country Village Florist and Gifts is open Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m- 4 p.m., and Sun. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. They can also be found on their website

Helen’s Holiday Heaven

Islip High School Craft Fair

Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Facebook: Helen Giordano Barba; Text: 631- 375-8164

The whisks Helen Barba is offering this year.
The whisks Helen Barba is offering this year.
This holiday season, Helen Barba of Helen’s Holiday Heaven decided to make gifts that would make life easy on the gift-giver. For example, her mason jar cookie kits come completely gift wrapped and include a tag from the “Elf on the Shelf.” The cookie kits are available in Santa’s sugar cookie or M&M cookie. Barba also made adorable whisk kits filled with Hershey Kisses for the bakers with a sweet tooth. Barba is selling the mason jar cookie kits for $20 each and the whisks for $5 each. She is also offering a custom elf cookie plate for an extra $6 as a collaboration with another local small business, 2 Hearts Boutique. Barba is also offering two types of sugar scrubs. One is a peppermint and the other is a coconut vanilla and brown sugar scrub. They are $12 each. In addition to her small business, Barba is always giving back to the community. She recently organized a fundraiser for Cooking for Long Island Veterans and has another fundraiser planned for Dec. 11 to raise money for Suffolk Detachment 247 for the Marines in Bay Shore.

Barba said she will be selling her items at the craft fair at Islip High School on Dec. 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Interested buyers can also reach out to her via her Facebook at Helen Giordano Barba or text her at 631-375-8164 to make an order.

Sweet Treats by Nik

Instragram: @sweettreatsbynik


Text- 631-559-6774

Some of the boozy cupcakes offered by Nicole Meigel of Sweet Treats by Nik.
Some of the boozy cupcakes offered by Nicole Meigel of Sweet Treats by Nik.
Nicole Meigel of Sweet Treats by Nik is a self-taught baker who works out of her home in East Islip. When COVID-19 hit, Meigel donated cookies and other treats to local health care workers at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip and South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore. For this year’s holiday season, Meigel said she will be offering the ever-popular hot cocoa bombs as well as boozy cupcakes for customers. When placed in hot water or milk, the hot cocoa bombs crack open and release delicious hot cocoa, making for a great treat. Meigel offers her treats by demand. Orders can be placed by contacting her on Instagram @sweettreatsbynik, emailing her at or texting her at 631-559-6774.


Studio Theatre of Long Island at Bayway Arts Center

265 East Main Street

East Islip

Jessica Murphy as Cinderella and Robert Klein-Fischetti as Prince Christopher in Studio Theatre of Long Island’s presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.”
Jessica Murphy as Cinderella and Robert Klein-Fischetti as Prince Christopher in Studio Theatre of Long Island’s presentation of Rodgers and …
Give the gift of theatre this season with tickets to a show at Studio Theatre of Long Island’s Bayway Arts Center in East Islip. Buyers are able to buy tickets to shows in the theatre’s 2022 winter/spring season or spoil that special someone with season tickets. The shows being offered for the upcoming season are “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “Titanic” the musical, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and “Grumpy Old Men” the musical. For the artistic kids on your list, Studio Theatre’s Youth Program is fantastic with programs for all ages. Studio Theatre also boasts the Gary Milenko Scholarship fund, established in 2020, that ensures that no child is turned away from the theatre programs because of an inability to pay. Studio Theatre also regularly hosts events with the community. In early October, the theatre hosted students and faculty from Central Islip High School for a special performance of “Aida,”followed by a Q & A with the cast. Tickets for individual performances can be bought at; to purchase subscription packages call the box office at 631-226-8400.

Drew’z Cartoonz/ Till The End Clothing

Andrew Traficante of both Drew’z Cartoonz and Til the End Clothing is a man of many talents. Drew’z Cartoonz is a local caricature business that Traficante runs. Traficante said he found out he had a knack for caricatures around age 16. His business can be rented for parties, weddings or even corporate events. Traficante said it takes him less than 10 minutes to complete a caricature, which partygoers can then keep as a memento. He also offers a system where photos of guests are taken at the beginning of events and then he creates the caricatures while the guests enjoy the party. Later, at the end of the party, guests pick up their caricatures as a souvenir of the event. Traficante said he donates much of his time with the caricature business by hosting workshops at libraries and arts studios. Helen Barba of Helen’s Holiday Heaven praised Traficante for his generosity and said he is always up to helping her with fundraisers she is hosting. He even created a poster for her new small business. In addition to Drew’z Cartoonz, Traficante also has another business, titled Til the End Clothing, that offers cool streetwear-style clothing. Til the End Clothing is dedicated “to the ones we’ve lost” and features New York City-inspired clothing designs. To book Drew’z Cartoonz visit To purchase clothing for Til the End Clothing visit

Islip Arts Council Gallery

Westfield South Shore Mall (next to Dick’s Sporting Goods)

If you’re looking for a unique or handmade gift for that special someone this holiday season, look no further than the Islip Arts Council Gallery in the Westfield South Shore Mall. If you’re looking for art, the gallery is currently holding their Winter Showcase. The gift shop at the gallery is a great place to find gifts like ornaments, clothing and gorgeous jewelry. Recently added to the gallery is a showcase of local authors from the Long Island Author’s Group. The author section takes up a whole wall in the rear of the gallery, guaranteeing a great read for everyone. On Dec. 4 and 5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Islip Arts Council will be hosting their Holiday Market in the Macy’s Courtyard. Stop by for a perfect opportunity to pick up a unique gift!  n


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here