Tom Austen SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — As lovers, businesswomen and philanthropists, Laura Serway and Cindy Seymour have certainly found a home in Syracuse.
Their Laci’s trademark, which derives from the first two letters of Serway and Seymour’s first names, has bounced around northern Syracuse, gaining notoriety along the way. First it was Laci’s Coffee Cafe in the regional commons market and after at the Palace Theater. Then it was Laci’s Burger Joint on James St. And now, Laci’s boasts of a tapas bar on Catherine St.
The food changes, but the feeling doesn’t.
“I mean we create that home-like environment, because this is our home,” Serway said.
Customers can attest to that home-like environment as well.
“You know they make you feel comfortable…when Laura will put whiskey on the bar and…just let you taste them,” Mark Fuller, of East Syracuse, said. “I mean, you wanna come back just to spend time with the people here.”
And for every new food venture, they use their most recent one to empower local businesswomen. When they move out and move on to the next, they sell the space to women seeking to be owner operators.
But Serway and Seymour say, with Laci’s Tapas, they’ve found the right place and don’t plan on moving anytime soon.
They’re committed to helping the community with more than just good food, too.
Every year, they host a celebration that they say has an attendance of nearly 800 people, along with local food vendors in the city. The proceeds go to a charity of the peoples’ choosing through a Facebook contest. They say they’ve raised over $70,000 in the last five years.
A longtime friend of theirs, Nessa Versillo, said, “They give themselves up to this community like I’ve never seen.”
And even with all that they do, they never forget their first priority.
“You know the one thing we say all the time is, we’re not married to anything but each other,” Seymour said.