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Welcome to Barth’s Market! Your source for the freshest meats, seafood, and produce since 1940. Keith Buscio, Public Relations Director, sat down with Jim Barth of Barth’s Market to learn a little bit more about his success story.
KB: Tell us about Barth’s Market
JB: Barth’s Market is a family run butcher shop and grocer that has been in business since 1940. My grandfather had three businesses in Germany, and as the war broke out, my family fled Germany. They had one store in Elizabeth, NJ, and settled in Irvington, NJ. Eventually they moved to Union, NJ. My father and my grandfather were together and had a store in Union, NJ, Union Pork Store. While they were working with Union Pork Store, construction was starting in New Providence, NJ for Barth’s Market. They ran the store up until 1993, that’s when I took over the store.
KB: What challenges did you encounter while managing Barth’s Market that Provident Bank was able to help you with?
JB: When we were looking to expand, the owner of the property where Provident Bank is located, wanted to put a convenience store on the site where we wanted to expand our store. I contacted the Bank, and although we were talking to many banks at the time, John Falco, Relationship Manager/Team Leader, met with me and said that he knew the property owner and advised me that the Bank could possibly help us to buy the land and do the build-out. We had already spoke with several other banks who all had bank fees that were double Provident’s. I knew that John was very aggressive, but in a good way. He stayed alert and on top of this situation. Plus, he was easy to get a hold of at any time, day or night - which made the decision a no-brainer. John helped us buy the land and he was with us every step of the way.
KB: How did Provident Bank demonstrate its brand promise of “Commitment You Can Count On” to help overcome these challenges and enable you to succeed?
JB: When we were applying for our construction loan, Provident gave us personalized attention and understood our business needs. We knew that we had a partner during our expansion. There were many hurdles that we had to overcome and every time Provident met the challenges. It may have been additional funding or advice - and that’s how we knew we found a true partner. Provident exceeded all my expectations. I’ve worked with other banks in the past but without Provident, I don’t believe the project would have become a reality. Keep in mind, we had over $800,000 in change orders due to poor soil and other issues along the way. But Provident came through with the financing, and now our business is tremendous.
KB: How do you perceive your bank as a partner in your business? How important is a relationship with a bank?
JB: As a community-minded company, we are fortunate to have Provident as our neighbor. We literally share the parking lot with our local branch, so we know the team at the local branch very well. My family members know Provident’s managers and many other local employees on a first name basis.
KB: What advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to make the leap to start or expand their business?
JB: It certainly helps to have a solid bank. When we had our grand opening, I gave that advice to 150 people at our store. I told everyone that Provident Bank is there to support you. As you know, true entrepreneurs with a vision like mine, overcome many obstacles. Your need to pick the right team. This includes your bank, your lawyer, your accountant, your engineers, etc. Provident is part of our winning team. Thanks to this team, we have and will continue to generate some tremendous numbers. Everyone I’ve worked with from Paula Palermo, Donna Purdon, John Falco, Rose Owens, and the team at the New Providence branch have been extremely friendly and helpful. It’s been such a wonderful experience.