Shining a Spotlight on Wantagh Businesses: The Daily Roast

Jen Rosen, Associate Editor

A mural of the Wantagh Parkway stretches across the line to the register. A 35 pound toy steam engine owned by two family generations. A ship bell hand crafted by a woman with down syndrome. An old tug boat steering wheel adjacently placed near the Wantagh LIRR train station sign. A weathered American flag bearing its image nearby the patriotic words “God Bless Our Heroes.” These seemingly unrelated pieces harmoniously decorate the pale blue walls of coffee affirmations and sugar packets in Wantagh’s newest cafe The Daily Roast.

Owned by 32-year Wantagh/Bethpage resident Robert Gayer, The Daily Roast opened its doors to the public on November 13th. In describing the initial struggles of opening his business, Gayer said, “It was a long time coming. I had initially wanted to open my doors four months earlier but COVID delayed everything and resulted in everything tripling in price and employees unable to come in to take shifts.”

Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, Gayer worked as a sales manager for a coffee roasting company and was later promoted as executive vice president. Gayer said, “I worked in the coffee business for many years. However, due to travel restrictions brought on by COVID, I decided to slow things down and I wanted to bring my expertise and love for cooking to my own place.”

Walking into Gayer’s coffee shop, customers are immediately met with the sight of chalkboard script and the wafting aroma of coffee beans. “LOVE IS BREWING,” the nearby cabinet reads in bold colorful letters. The store pops with hues of blues, greens, yellows, and grays and the mural of the Wantagh Parkway with cartoonish cars and pickups perfectly encapsulates a spirit of hospitality. 

Gayer said, “I really wanted the store to be about the neighborhood. I wanted to do a caricature of the Wantagh Parkway because I know it’s a place that the neighborhood knows. Being the Gateway to Jones Beach, Wantagh families have a lot of memories of driving down to see the fireworks or light shows. It’s an important piece of the Long Island experience.”

The shop contains numerous personal decorations that contain anecdotes and deep meanings to Gayer and his customers. For example, Gayer’s father’s 35 pound toy train came to inspire one of the shop’s most infamous coffee blends—the Commuter Blend. “Our slightly darker roast is called the Warrior Blend for the Wantagh Warriors. It represents my pride in the neighborhood and the ability for customers to make The Daily Roast not only my store, but theirs.”

As a local entrepreneur, Gayer credits himself for his open minded business policies and company values. “I strive to provide quality, honesty, and the ability to serve the best I can. I tell people all the time I want to serve you what I would be willing to eat. I think the neighborhood embraced that and I have allowed myself to learn from them and they give me ideas and inspiration. I try to give the people what they want.”

As a passionate family man, Gayer strives to uphold a community filled with memories even outside the doors of his business. He has helped in sponsoring numerous community events by donating pounds of coffee to Wantagh’s Little League, Varsity Cheerleading Team, and John Theissen’s annual Freaky 5K. “It’s nice to give back to the community, not just take from it. I like people to see what we’re about so if we have soups out, we hope you try it to get a better understanding as to what we stand for. You have a place to go where you can just talk and hang out and worry about nothing.”

Gayer’s cafe has received raving 5-star reviews across social media platforms. One customer on Yelp wrote, “I will definitely make this my regular morning spot for a delicious cup of coffee and good vibes to start my day.” 

Another Google review said, “This is my go to coffee shop! This place is such a gem.” In response to these high standing compliments Gayer, “The support of the community has been overwhelming. There is such a strong entrepreneurial spirit in Wantagh and it’s great to know people look out for each other.”

In the future, Gayer aspires to share his love for family and coffee across Long Island. Gayer, “The Daily Roast of Wantagh is hopefully the first of a few. I hope to eventually be able to put one in each town and make it all about them. But whatever the future has in store, we look forward to being able to do daily things differently here.”

Be sure to take a trip to 1887 Wantagh Ave for your own Warrior Blend and follow @thedailyroastwantagh on Instagram for some delicious future content!