Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the June 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

Silver Barn Farms: A Middle Village Institution

The newly renovated Silver Barn building on 80th St. & Caldwell Ave.

I had the opportunity recently to sit down and talk to Abe Gabor and his brother, Jacob, who are the owners of the Silver Barn Farms, a family-run retail business, and a staple in the Middle Village community for many years.

To clarify the status of the retail store, Silver Barn Farms, Abe Gabor stated that in 1991 he bought that business from Herb and Sydney Schwartz and their business partners. Abe's brother, Jacob, became his partner in 1993. Currently, one of the workers in the Silver Barn office is Alan Epstein, a nephew of the Schwartz cousins.

Abe Gabor explained how the site evolved into what it is today. In 1967 the dairy, Silver Crest, which was located where Walgreen's is today, placed outdoor milk machines next to their business. Those machines proved to be very popular with the public. As a result of their popularity, in 1969 the Schwartz family opened a small retail store, which was located on 80th Street, just south of Caldwell Avenue and which operated from 1969 to 1971 and this endeavor also proved to be a big success.

Seeing the handwriting on the wall and the need for a full-fledged retail business, the Schwartz family then bought the property immediately north of their small retail store which was across the street on Caldwell Avenue and in 1971 that move created the Silver Barn Farms retail store that we have today. Previously there was an A&P Supermarket at that site and back in the day it was a baseball field and, in 1940, the local swimming hole.

Abe was very clear about what the top priority is as the owner of the Silver Barn Farms, which is a union shop. They are totally committed to being in this community for many years, providing the best in customer service and fresh food, all at reasonable prices.

Abe stated that when he bought the business in 1990 the thought was to have a farmer's market produce department always having fresh produce selling at reasonable prices. The Silver Barn deli department also specializes in all types of food from cooked hot dishes to fresh, high quality cold cuts and salads. Let's not leave out the dairy department and its varied selections. All the Silver Barn products are reasonably priced and sold to the public by a friendly, accommodating staff. In fact, Abe and Jacob agree, they believe that shopping in the Silver Barn in many cases results in the consumer paying below supermarket pricing for similar products.

The words, friendly and accommodating, the customer is always right is the mantra of Silver Barn employees. Not only do they get along well with the public but Abe said they also like working with fellow employees. There were even employees that ended up married and living happily ever after having met at Silver Barn! He said that many in the community have been loyal customers over the years and that fact alone is most rewarding to Abe and Jacob because they feel they're doing something right and they want to always sustain a high level of camaraderie with the neighborhood.

Abe explained the recent rehabilitation of the Silver Barn building and the fact that they are determined always to be visually appealing and fitting in well with the Middle Village community. They are so determined to keep the site clean, handsome looking and always free of graffiti that they signed a contract with a firm that will make it their business to remove quickly, the same day if possible, any graffiti that is sprayed on the site. Now, that shows dedication and we wish other businesses in our neighborhood would follow the lead of Silver Barn and make sure graffiti is removed the very same day it is sprayed.

I could go on talking about the brothers, Abe and Jacob, but I think you get the message. Silver Barn Farms is a newly renovated beautiful store, two owners who I would describe as on it, with a great attitude for success, looking forward to the future in Middle Village, always eager to please. The customer is always right, and you don't ever doubt it when you shop in Silver Barn Farms! And since Abe and Jacob are constantly in their think tank for ways to make the shopping experience in Silver Barn even better and more economical, the best is yet to come!

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June 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

June 2012 Table of Contents