When we were in the planning phases of our new home, Jon knew he wanted to have a rustic, earthy look throughout the entire store. He also knew the perfect person to make bring his vision to life.

All images by Lindsay Kagalis

Meet Pete Carbocci – old house restoration and renovation business owner and woodworking teacher at Savyille High School. Pete had long been a regular at Cornucopia, eating lunch almost every day at the deli. He developed a strong relationship with the family here at Cornucopia. After countless conversations and meals, Jon approached Pete about working to create pieces for the new store. Jon knew of his work from teaching woodworking at Sayville High School, making him the perfect fit for the task. Pete said yes, of course, since he has his own woodshop on his property. The job would be the start of something great.

The Work

To create a sense of rustic simplicity at the store, Pete used a variety of reclaimed woods, from lumber to beams and pallets. Seeing as the back deli wall is so large, Pete wanted to add shelving that would be big enough to balance out the space. He gathered reclaimed 10-inch wide beams right from Brooklyn to make the gorgeous display shelving you see at our deli. He also created the wood wrapped counter space along both side of the deli from reclaimed lumber to emulate the rustic vibe. But Pete’s work doesn’t stop there.

Pete also used recycled wood to create the wood paneling along the upper walls of the store. This wood is from recycled fences and barn boards from right here in upstate New York. We absolutely love how Pete has kept things local throughout his entire process. And all of the wood work done has been to create a simple, rustic and natural look that fits perfectly into the Cornucopia culture.

Now, let’s move to the front of the store where Pete’s work really shines.

Along with wrapping our new register stations with the reclaimed wood, Pete built the new seating area for customers to sit back and enjoy a meal with company. As Pete noted, this was the toughest part of the job. There were mounds of pallets left over that we wanted to use as our new seating area to both be environmentally friendly as well as create a simple and rustic look.

But, as Pete mentions, a lot of the woodworking effort is to make the pallet usable.  From slicing each pallet apart, to cutting…and knocking all of the nails out – it is a tedious task to complete. And for Pete, his vision was clear – “[You] walk a fine line between cleaning the wood to get rid of the gnarliness while still having the feeling of it been used”. Finding perfection in imperfection is easily visible in Pete’s woodwork.

What’s Next

Pete has created some great opportunities through this project with us at Cornucopia. While it was difficult in the beginning, he has grown to think of it as a fun adventure. He has enjoyed working in his own space right outside on his property to create these pieces, and people have noticed! He now has a few more projects lined up to create wood pieces from Melrose Farm (Pete’s property), and we are so excited to see the finished work. We are so happy to build strong relationships like the one with Pete, where he has potentially found new opportunities to share his passion. Make sure to stop by and check out his work throughout the store. We promise you will be just amazed as we are!