Local Business

Café doing well after move from city to town

  • Ashly Cucinotta at the BruMae Caffé’s new location in St George (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
  • Ashly Cucinotta at the BruMae Caffé’s new location in St George (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Ashly and Bruno Cucinotta are enjoying a more peaceful lifestyle after moving their BruMae Caffé from Hamilton to St George’s.

When the café was located on the corner of Burnaby and Church Street everything had to be quick, quick, quick.

“People came for coffee, food and go,” Mrs Cucinotta said.

They opened in a quiet courtyard off Water Street, near Davidrose Studio on July 6.

“It has a different vibe,” she said. “People have a bit more time, because they are not in so much of a rush.”

She sees lots of visitors from the cruise ships, and also locals who work in St George.

“I also have people who come from St Davids over here for lunch,” she said. “I have a lot of regulars already, which has been great. I am open on Saturdays and get more locals then.”

Several local businesses, particularly tour operators, have been supportive, recommending BruMae to customers.

Located in what was previously a hair salon, the Cucinottas have more space to sell a range of gourmet Italian products such as regular and gluten-free pastas. In a refrigerated cabinet they sell various types of cheese, meats and antipastos.

You can order the items on a panini, or get a charcuterie plate.

“I like being down here because the focus is more on the food and the products,” she said. “They are all gourmet products at a reasonable price. When we first opened in Hamilton, this is what we were but, because our location was so small, selling the products didn’t really make sense. We don’t have much of these products in St George’s so I am finding there is a market for it.”

They are even seeing some former customers from the City of Hamilton.

“When we told our regulars we would be moving, they said they would pop in, and they have,” she said. “They come to visit us and they like what they see.”

So far, business has been good.

“I have been very surprised,” Mrs Cucinotta said.

She isn’t too concerned about the winter slow season in the old town.

“Hopefully, I will build a good following of my local clientele and they will keep coming, because everyone needs cheese and meats,” she said.

“The need for olives and things doesn’t stop in the winter, if anything there is more of a need. I have some ideas to keep it going. When it starts to slow down, I can start to do more events. I am planning on doing a tapas night and getting some local musicians to perform.” She developed a passion for Italian cuisine while studying cooking, to the master chef level, in Italy several years ago.

“I did three months in school and then four months doing an internship in Sicily,” she said. “The cuisine and the products are real food, not processed. I enjoy food and I think food should be enjoyed.”

Ironically, she didn’t meet her Sicilian husband, Bruno, until she returned home to Bermuda.

“I met him five minutes from where I grew up, here in St George’s,” she said.

She thinks more needs to be done to promote St George’s.

“St George’s has a lot of cute niche shops that people come to St George’s for,” she said.

“Now I am hopefully a part of that syndicate. I don’t think St George’s is promoted enough. I wanted to move back to St George’s because it has that island feel to it. We are a small village and life is a little bit more easy going down here.

“We have a lot to offer. You can sit outside under the tree over there and enjoy delicious food or coffee and be looking out at the harbour. You have four beaches to walk to and a lot of history and architecture in St George’s. There is a lot to offer than what I think is promoted.”

The BruMae Caffé is open at 22 Water Street, from Monday to Saturday from 10am until 4pm. For more information see them on Facebook under and Instagram under BruMaecaffé or e-mail brumaecaffe@gmail.com