New Orleans furniture store Hurwitz Mintz turns 100 | Blake Pontchartrain | Gambit Weekly

Hey Blake,

Hurwitz Mintz furniture store recently advertised its 100th anniversary sale. Who are (or were) the Hurwitz and Mintz in the store’s name?

Dear reader,

Joseph Hurwitz and Morris Mintz were brothers-in-law and Russian Jewish immigrants who came to New Orleans in 1920 and opened their furniture store together soon after. An Oct. 11, 1925 New Orleans Item article advertised their new store at 217-219 Royal St., across from the Hotel Monteleone. The location had been a furniture store in the past, operated by W.G. Tebault.

“Three fundamental principles underlie our business, frame our policy and constitute the essentials of our pledge (to the public),” the owners said in the Item article. “They are quality of merchandise, sound values and real service.”

In later years, Hurwitz Mintz expanded to include the building at 211 Royal St. The business’ name is still visible in tiles on the sidewalk out front, although the location closed after Hurricane Katrina.

Mintz died in 1945, while Hurwitz died in 1965. The business remained in the hands of family members, including Mintz’s son Ellis, who joined in the 1930s by working summers in the furniture warehouse. During his more than 60 years at the helm, the company became one of the leading furniture stores in the region. In the 1970s and 1980s, TV actors Barbara Feldon (best known for “Get Smart”) and “Batman” star Adam West even appeared in commercials for the store.

In 1971, Hurwitz Mintz opened another French Quarter furniture store, called Units, at 227 Chartres St. It sold more contemporary furniture before closing in 2004. In 1974, as the company marked its 50th anniversary, it also opened a new warehouse in the 6000 block of Press Street.

“All of this is being done because in the coming years we feel that even greater emphasis will be placed upon the home, dictated not only by more leisure hours, but also by a more sophisticated public,” said Ellis Mintz in 1974.

Today, his son Mitchell is president and CEO of the business, which since 2000 has been headquartered at its showroom and warehouse on Airline Drive in Metairie.

Blakeview: Progress Grocery, which claims to have originated the muffuletta, opened 100 years ago

The family business, Perrone & Sons, LLC, is a gourmet food wholesaler run by members of the third and fourth generations of the family.

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