In the heart of West Islip, one business embodies what it means to be both a pillar of the community and a family affair. This year, West Islip Wines and Liquors proudly celebrates its 30th anniversary. Founded by Rich and Rob DiStefano—West Islip High School alumni from the classes of '84 and '88—the store is a shining example of how a local business can deeply influence its community for the better.
A Family Legacy Anchored in West Islip Alumni Pride
The DiStefanos have not merely created a thriving business; they've also cultivated a family legacy deeply anchored in the West Islip community. Rich and his wife Maureen are proud parents of two West Islip High School alumni: Matthew, Class of 2016, and Lauren, Class of 2018. Similarly, Rob and Claire have also raised three West Islip alumni: Owen from the Class of 2019, Olivia from the Class of 2021, and Andrew set to graduate with the Class of 2024. This multi-generational connection to West Islip High School enriches the warm, family-like atmosphere that customers have come to expect and cherish when they visit the store.
Beyond a Motto: A Way of Life
The family’s ethos is captured in the motto: "Locally Owned and Community Minded." Far from mere words, this slogan represents the DiStefanos' genuine approach to business and life. Each guest is welcomed with a smile and a heartfelt "Hello," making the task of selecting wine or spirits remarkably pleasant and stress-free.
The Finest Selections, Broad Reach, and Fair Pricing
West Islip Wines and Liquors prides itself on an inventory that can go head-to-head with the selections of metropolitan stores, especially in their standout Bourbon and Tequila offerings. They cater to a broad spectrum of clients, from those who enjoy a casual glass to the dedicated aficionado. Their reach extends across the Great South Bay; for the past 30 years, they've also provided exceptional service to Fire Island. Remarkably, despite the island's remote location, they have committed to offering mainland pricing to Fire Islanders, underscoring their dedication to affordability without compromising on quality.
Generosity Extends Beyond Business
Rich, Maureen, Rob, and Claire have also woven a strong tapestry of community involvement. For three decades, they've consistently advertised in every West Islip School Journal and have become synonymous with philanthropy. Their generosity reaches local youth sports, scout troops, West Islip Fire Department events, St. John the Baptist functions, PTA activities, and more. They have proudly sponsored major community events, including St. John the Baptist’s "Taste for Education" and the West Islip Chamber of Commerce’s "Taste of West Islip."
Pioneers in Community Involvement
This remarkable family shows that prosperity and community engagement are not mutually exclusive but can, in fact, reinforce one another. They are a shining example for other businesses, proving that success and community contribution can beautifully coexist.
Raising a Glass to 30 Years and Many More
As we toast this milestone, we at the West Islip Chamber of Commerce salute not just a business, but a family and an institution. Here's to the DiStefanos, to their continued community involvement, to their wonderful children who are carrying on the tradition, and to many more years of West Islip Wines and Liquors being "Locally Owned and Community Minded."
Be sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook for upcoming wine tastings.