HIRSHLEIFERS COMES TO MANHASSET
In 1960, after settling with his family on Long Island, Paul would travel to the shop in Forest Hills six days a week. Searching out alternative routes to avoid traffic, he one day found his way onto Northern Boulevard where he came upon a strip mall of moderate priced stores, such as J. Newberry, Porch and Patio, Davida Shoes, and Floyd Bennett. Recognizing the potential viability of a high-end shopping center that could cater to the influx of young wealthy families settling the North Shore Gold Coast community, Paul, one day, stopped at the center to present his idea to its owner, Frank Castagna. A man of extreme vision and insight, Castagna liked the concept, offering Paul a small space to open a branch of Hirshleifers, a first step in the plan to transform the Americana.
Lillian took charge of the Manhasset operation while Paul continued to work in Forest Hills with Rose until 1990, when demographic changes, once again, led to a consolidation of the business in Manhasset. Forest Hills was closed and Paul and Rose joined Lillian at Manhasset.
HIRSHLEIFERS CONSOLIDATES ITS OPERATIONS AT AMERICANA MANHASSET
What followed was a period of strong steady expansion as the business broadened its collections, scope and square footage. Growing in stature along with the shopping center, Hirshleifer’s developed a national and even international reputation as a unique specialty store offering the finest collections available worldwide, with an emphasis on personal service and attention. As the Manhasset business expanded from its original configuration of 1500 square feet to its current spatial configuration of close to ten times that size, the face of the business changed as well.
In 1990, Rose passed away peacefully after putting in a full day of work, riding the bus home, and checking with her favorite fitter by phone as to the status of an alteration. Given the chance, she wouldn’t have scripted it any other way. An active participant in the business until the day she died at 86, the incredibly spry and still frugal Rose would ride the subway to Manhattan to buy buttons, lace, and other fabrics, a taxi or private car too decadent and indulgent for her blood. On weekends, she could be found baking sponge cakes in her apartment, sometimes, around the Jewish New Year, as many as ten at a time, which she would ship in hat boxes to her beloved customers and their families.
In 2004, Paul, passed away quietly after a long illness. While blessed with vision and an intuitive sense of the fashion business, certainly Paul’s greatest strength was his strong personal skills that enabled him to form lifelong relationships of trust with all those that he met, clients and vendors alike. To Paul, a handshake was as binding as a signed agreement. Loyalty and honesty were concepts fundamental to the way he conducted his affairs. Traditional in his values, Paul was extremely modern in his business approach.
BACK TO THE BEGINNING
And now that we’ve cycled back to Hirshleifers today, where our story first began, the rest of our history is still in the making. Everyday offers an opportunity to be a part of the creativity, ingenuity and personal connection that have made Hirshleifers so viable for so long. We invite you to become a part of our history.
In concluding the story of Hirshleifers past and present, we leave you Nana Rose’s Legendary Sponge Cake Recipe and with our favorite philosophies of Paul and Rose.
NANA ROSE’S LEGENDARY SPONGE CAKE RECIPE
1 cup of Swanson cake flour (not self rising),
8 eggs (separated), pinch of salt, 1 cup of sugar, i teaspoon of almond extract, 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1 cup of orange juice plus the rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange (use fresh squeezed orange juice).
FIRST, in a large bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Continue to beat the eggs until they are very stiff. (They should be so stiff that when you turn the bowl upside-down, they don’t fall out on the floor).
NEXT, in a separate bowl, combine the yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, pinch of salt, all the rind and the juice. Beat the yolk mixture until creamed nicely.
USING a whisk, fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Fold in nicely until well combined.
SIFT the flour gradually into the egg mixture, whisking as you add the entire cup.
POUR the mixture into an un-greased angel food tin that opens up. (The tin should have feet attached to the rim).
PUT it into a COLD oven. Set the oven to 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Use a tester to check for doneness. When the tester comes out clean, take the cake out of the oven and turn it upside-down onto its feet.
ALLOW the cake to cool completely before touching it. Run a sharp knife around all the edges and remove cake from pan.
“It’s a zoo in here” to connote a busy afternoon.
“Don’t beat it, Shelley.”
“Going down for the third count”
“Tempus is fugiting,” he would tell Caryn who labored too well over the details, driving Paul to distraction. To reiterate his point, he would tell her, “Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end.”
An impatient woman who was always in a hurry, she would tell anyone who was eating too slowly, “Wrap it up, get it to go.”
“A little lipstick wouldn’t kill you.”