Ferries Are Running and Abilis Will Run the Island Beach Concession Stand

This summer, Abilis, the nonprofit that serves more than 800 individuals with special needs and their families from birth throughout their lives, will operate and staff the Island Beach concession stand.

Concession stand at Island Beach, June 10, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Abilis is currently awaiting the arrival of equipment, refrigeration and permits to open the Island Beach concession stand. As soon as the equipment arrives and they get the all-clear, Abilis staff and program participants will be on the ferry out to the island to start preparing food for beach-goers.

Abilis plans on offering a delicious array of cold and hot drinks, fresh baked goods, salads, hot dogs, sandwiches, Nachos, hot pretzels, snacks, candy, ice cream and popsicles. The concession stand will be open seven days a week from 10:00am to 7:30pm.

Abilis will also partner with well-know and beloved food purveyors in town, similar to what it does at The Café at Greenwich Library, and bring some of those items to Island Beach from restaurateurs such as Upper Crust Bagel Company, Happiness Is Back Country Market & Café and Arcuri’s Pizza & Salad. Coffee will be provided by Shearwater Coffee Roasters, which makes delicious organic coffee and is based in Fairfield County.

“Building on the successful Abilis businesses, such as The Café at Greenwich Library, Abilis Gardens & Gifts and the Abilis Café, the Town of Greenwich is excited to have Abilis onboard as a partner to run the Island Beach Concession this summer,” said First Selectman Fred Camillo. “Abilis’ inclusiveness and ability to provide meaningful job training and employment to individuals with special needs is a wonderful aspect to what they do. We are excited to have them serve our Greenwich residents.”

Heather Brown, a Greenwich native with more than 30 years of experience working in restaurant and catering businesses, is managing the Island Beach Concession. She also manages The Café at Greenwich Library, Abilis Gardens & Gifts, and oversees employees and these new expansions of Abilis’ businesses.

“We are thrilled to be running the Island Beach Concession and extend Abilis’ competitive employment program to other parts of Greenwich” noted Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis. “Abilis is committed to our mission ensuring individuals with disabilities have meaningful employment. These skills are developed in conjunction with our business ventures and this new venture servicing the Island Beach Concession will allow us to continue our goal of community integration and creating employment opportunities of which Abilis is so well known.”

Montimurro asked for the public’s patience as the Island Beach Concession finalizes equipment, staffing and menu items in the coming weeks before it opens. “We can’t wait to serve you, but as you can imagine, running a concession stand on a Town-owned island in the middle of Long Island Sound has its challenges. We are navigating all of this with the help of the Town and hope to be serving customers shortly.”

Updates will be available on the Island Beach Concession social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram at @islandbeach.concession and Twitter @IslandBeachConcession.

Abilis is celebrating its 70th year in 2021 as a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports more than 800 individuals with special needs and their families from birth throughout their lives. Abilis is a leader serving the special needs community in Fairfield County, Connecticut, in towns including Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport, Weston and Wilton, and has a long-standing reputation for individualized, high quality care. For more information, visit www.abilis.us, or facebook.com/Abilisinc, twitter.com/Abilis, or instagram.com/abilis_us.