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Porto Rico Importing Company

About this listing

Village institution offering coffee, spices and specialty foods

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Greenwich Village
Commercial, Great Places to Shop, Shopping

Place Matters Profile

Since 1907 the Porto Rico Importing Company has been a fixture in Greenwich Village, particularly known for its freshly roasted coffee beans. A link to a time when the streets of the Village were lined with mom-and-pop food purveyors, the original Porto Rico continues to be a vital commercial establishment little changed from its early days.

The oldest Porto Rico store (there are now four branches, all within walking distance) has its original stamped-tin ceilings, large bags of coffee beans, and shelves of tea tins behind the counter. It looks enchanting and smells heavenly, but the store's ethic is utilitarian. Little has changed--except the addition of new kinds of tea and coffee--because customers don't need it to. "I get letters from all over saying my store is so authentic--well, it is authentic," says current owner Peter Longo. "This is not a trendy shop, but a nuts and bolts type of...

Read More


Reilly, Kate. "A Short History of Porto Rico Importing, As Told By Peter E. Longo, Owner." January, 2001.

On The Web

Porto Rico Importing Company


Peter Longo

This store is now tiny remnant of what was once an empire of tea, coffee and sugar importing, connected to the Caribbean by way of plantations and company towns--its story is the very history of the Americas.

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