Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Pretty Darn Hartwarming Brooklyn Story: Honoring Owner of The Orchard

Today at 3 p.m., BP Marty Markowitz will present a proclamation to Daniel Spitz, owner of The Orchard at 1367 Coney Island Avenue, shown above left with his son Mitchell.

Brooklyn Borough Hall sent us Spitz's background, as written by his son, and it's a heartwarming Brooklyn success story:

"My Dad was born to immigrant Hungarian and Romanian Jews in 1928 just as the Depression was about to descend upon America. He was placed in the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphanage with his brother at 6 years of age when his parents could not afford to keep him.

"Over time, my Dad's father abandoned the family never to be heard from again while his mother eventually stopped visiting the boys at the Home. After many failed foster home experiences, the boys were placed in a loving foster home (with an Orthodox Jewish father and a devout Roman Catholic mother!) in their mid-teens and went off to the army in 1946 after graduating Lafayette High School.

"Upon his return, my Dad worked the streets of Midwood with various delivery jobs including a fresh egg route. He learned about produce while working at Smilen Brothers, a large chain of fruit stores in Brooklyn. He finally saved up the 500 dollars to open the Orchard in 1957. While there were four other fruit stores in the immediate area of Midwood, The Orchard outlasted them all and started to thrive by offering the highest quality fruit and vegetables my Dad could find at the Brooklyn Terminal Market in Canarsie.

"Eventually, the store reached iconic status over the subsequent 55 years, serving the best produce to the local Italians and Jews of Brooklyn as well as the likes of Jimmy Carter at his inauguration party in Washington D.C. and Gil Hodges on the day the Mets won the 1969 World Series.

"Along the way, my Dad was able to save enough money from selling pineapples and oranges to start investing in real estate on Avenue J and Coney Island Avenue. Today, he proudly owns and manages ten buildings in the area. He also was able to send his son to Princeton University and Columbia University Medical School. His other son was able to step right into the family business and under his stewardship has enabled The Orchard to continue to grow and prosper.

"Oh, and by the way, he just celebrated his 60 years of marriage (a truly amazing feat in its own right!)"

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

1 comment:

glaudius said...

Very inspiring story. He surely had many more ups and downs. That is the american dream we are all chasing with our small businesses, online businesses, on the side businesses etc.
Thanks for sharing