Remembering Cappy's

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - If you're a native to the area, you probably remember the store Cappy's. Well, it's set for demolition in the next few weeks. Today we were able to speak with the former owner Joe Caparulo, as well as former customers who wanted to talk about what Cappy's was and how current revitalization plans will honor its community legacy.

"When a customer came in to get a gift, they left with a [greater] gift [that of connection]," Lynne Rusinko commented this afternoon, as she remembered going into Cappy's when she was a child with her father.  As she grew, so did her perspective . . . Cappy's offered the gift of relationships, conversation and community building.

Caparulo honors the progression of change; however, he is the first to admit it is emotional.  He is sad that the building will disappear, but is looking forward to watching the space continue to evolve, as it has since its establishment. Cappy's began in 1946 as a small gift shop, and, over the years, as different competition entered the Elmira area, Cappy's was continually adapting to the community. However, Caparulo said, it came to a point where they could no longer compete with online shopping.  Now, he assured, it's time for that space to fulfill a new chapter in Elmira's story.

"Many things that Cappy's represents will be gone, but there will be a transformation . . . a movement from an interior space to an exterior public space," Caparulo explained.  As of right now, the plans are to develop a community park.

The original Cappy's was a place for people to come together, to enjoy each other, to share their lives, their struggles, their dreams, and the new use for the space will be honoring that legacy.

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