When Bella Vita Pizzeria quietly closed its doors about two weeks ago, it appeared that the people of Shelter Island would have to go without pizza, but that’s when local businesses sprang into action.
“As soon as I heard they were closing I had a meeting with everybody,” said Amanda Ellioff, owner of Elli’s Country Store. “We said, ‘all right , we’ve got to make pizza, we have to make this happen!’ ”
Just open for 18 months, Elli’s is already growing and adapting to the Island’s needs. Originally a gas station and lunch spot, Ellioff has created a lunch and coffee destination. Her daily lunch specials are a magnet for customers, selling out most days. Her kitchen brews coffee until 9 p.m., making it the only place to get a cup of joe in the evening. Now, she is taking on the pizza market.