A Female Entrepreneur on the Move: Ashley Santa Croce
Owner of Classy Cabs, Greenport
Ask Ashley Santa Croce what’s different about her cab company, Classy Cabs of Greenport, and she’ll tell you that she wants to make a difference in this world by providing a service that no others have delivered before on the East End. All call from a customer is not just another fare to Ashley: it’s an opportunity to develop a personal relationship with that customer in order to deliver the best cab service experience possible. For Ashley, the business is all about the lives she touches and how she can best understand her customers’ needs – whether it be taking a wine tour, making an airport trip, or driving an elderly loved one to medical appointments. In a world where the cab experience is increasingly reliant upon phone apps and algorithms, Ashley strives to set her company apart through personal service. Classy Cab customers know they can rely upon Ashley and her driving staff to be on time, efficient, knowledgeable and pleasant. At its very heart, Ashley runs a personal service business by touching lives and caring for her customers.
Ashley is NoFo born and raised, working on her grandmother’s family farm in East Marion; her grandfather was a Greenport police officer and postal carrier who sidelined mowing lawns. Ashley credits her grandfather for gifting her with a firm and fast grounding in the service work ethic as well as an intrepid, entrepreneurial spirit. In 2009, Ashley was working as a lab assistant at Greenport Hospital and moonlighting as a driver for Cindy’s Cab Company. When the owner of Cindy’s decided to sell the business, she approached Ashley first; Ashley declined the offer. Ashley had ideas about the cab business on the North Fork that she instinctively knew wouldn’t fit into the Cindy’s mold. “If I’m going to start a business, I’m going to build it from the ground up.”
And build she did. By 2013, Ashley had formed her company and was driving intermittently and for specific customers on a schedule. By believing that “anything is possible,” in May 2018, Ashley took the leap into full-time entrepreneurship: she left her full time position at the hospital and started driving full time. Now operating four vehicles with five drivers, Classy Cabs is more like a personal concierge driving service than a traditional cab company. If you’re from out of town looking to experience all that the North Fork has to offer, Ashley will curate a personalized tour of the wineries and other local sights. Additionally, she’ll recommend places to stay and restaurants to visit. And unlike other companies in the area, a Classy Cab will take the Shelter Island ferry services to deliver customers to the Hamptons – and your dog can go too! Classy Cabs is animal friendly. For a brief time at the onset of the pandemic, thing got slow and business was off. As more people took up full time residence in their weekend and vacation homes on the North Fork, Ashley saw a marked uptick in the need for Classy Cab’s services. “The business has only gotten busier with Covid,” Ashley commented.