Gold Star Mom Given Prestigious Empire Award By Senator James Skoufis
New Windsor – A very special restaurant called Sweet Pea Cafe, got its just award this week for taking a place in the community as much as family gathering place as a restaurant. Senator Skoufis gleamed as he presented what he said is the first EMPIRE award in Orange Coungy of the year, the highest business honor offered by the state, and he was glad to be the one presenting it to Nina Baldassare, for her courageous acts of love following a tragedy. The cafe is filled daily with veterans and young families who gather to enjoy each other’s company, heal, and “pay it forward” by helping Baldassare and her partner, John Zippo, fill the void of the loss of son Daniel in a tragic Plane crash. Daniel and fellow marines were on their way to California when it crashed in Mississippi. in July of last year. Many of those who frequent Sweet Pea Cafe served with Daniel, and the whole atmosphere so much more like a family than a business. They help the healing process for each other by creating new memories and recounting past good times together. And Nina and John set the stage by serving some of the tastiest and most healthy food in the region.
Veterans Mike Lutz and Primo Antonucci join them frequently, and often dressed to the hilt with pride as members of Catholic War Veterans. They donated the bench adjacent to Daniel’s memorial plaque which reads “Forever in our hearts”. It will now be joined by the Empire Award.
Sweet Pea Cafe, is a place where people find extraordinary peace and veterans gather, for lots of nourishment, both for the body and the soul.