NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – On The Dig, CBS2’s Elle McLogan unearths gems in local food and culture. In one past episode, she visited Bianco Brothers Instruments, a family-owned business selling and sharpening knives and tools in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn for nearly 50 years. In this update, she checks in with the Bianco family to learn how the business is adapting amid the coronavirus outbreak.
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Identical twin brothers Vincent and Joe run the shop, once a bustling gathering place for family and neighbors. Amid the pandemic, the business has been cut back to a drop-off and pick-up service.
“The tough part is making the change and not being able to deal with customers the way that you always did,” Joe’s son Peter said.
“They all want to shake our hands or give us hugs and kisses,” Joe said. “We have to walk away from that and bump elbows or blow kisses through the window.”
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In addition to sharpening knives for everyone from chefs to knife swallowers, Bianco Brothers disinfects and sharpens medical tools for healthcare workers. The family takes pride in serving its community and is grateful for the support received in return—neighbors fill the tip jar on the counter and drop off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.
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Above all, the Biancos rely on each other.
“Family is how we’re going to survive this,” Vincent said. “My brother Joe is a rock.”
“He’s my twin brother. He’s not just my brother. He’s part of me,” Joe said. “We’ve always been together, so we will always do everything together.”
Bianco Brothers Instruments / John’s Sharpening Service
6301 10th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11219
What’s something few people know about but everybody should? Whatever it is, Elle McLogan is tracking it down on The Dig. Join her hunt for treasures hidden across our area. Follow Elle on Twitter and Instagram.