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The coffee side of Seilenna in Bellport introduces indoor seating

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After a summer with no inside seating, the Seilenna boutique shop-meets-coffeehouse in Bellport Village set up tables and chairs last week.

And it came as welcome news to regulars, said owner Annelies De Rouck.

“It’s already been great for business,” she said. “I had approvals for them this summer but we had a lot of foot traffic and people were sitting out front, or in the backyard, but now people can actually sit and hang out and get some work done.”

There’s tables and chairs with room enough for six to sit, as well as a sofa.

De Rouck launched her own Seilenna line of swimwear two years ago to much fanfare in the fashion wold, but has been her first foray into operating a brick-and-mortar shop.

She’s also never been involved in food or beverage service.

“This is my first food operation, so I just wanted to be cautious,” she said of the delay in setting up the tables and chairs. “I’ve been having a lot of people ask when.”

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With it no longer swimsuit season, De Rouck say she’s hoping the store’s custom-made gift baskets are a success this holiday season and beyond and can help carry the year-round store through winter.

The baskets could contain anything from candles and soaps to knives and cookbooks.

While it’s a place to grab coffee, espresso drinks and crumpets at 138 South Country Road, Seilenna operates under a state agriculture and markets license — so isn’t a full eatery style establishment.

But the WIFI is strong, De Rouck stresses.

“People have said they want to bring clients in to sit and having meetings,” she said. “So this might be a little more formal than sitting out on the sidewalk.”

In an interview in May, De Rouck told greaterpatchogue.com she was at first just looking to open a boutique shop, but she was encouraged to open a coffeeshop in a village lacking one.

“Initially i wanted to do just a fashion boutique, but then people were asking if I could do coffee or baked goods, and since this place is large enough I figured to do it,” she had said.

Photo: Coffee and a chocolate croissant Tuesday at Seilenna. (Michael White)

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com