‘My dad never did it for the money’: Staubitz Market, iconic Cobble Hill butcher, struggling to stay afloat

staubitz market cobble hill

New York’s oldest butcher shop, Staubitz Market, is reaching out to the community for support as threats of closure looms after the latest bout of financial crisis.

Staubitz, a staple of Cobble Hill, opened in 1917 and was acquired by John McFadden Sr. in 1967. The shop has remained in the family ever since. 

However, after John Sr.’s passing in November of last year, the market quickly began facing a bevy of problems. His son and current owner of Staubitz market, John McFadden Jr., explained that he took up the mantle of managing the family business at a difficult time.

“Small businesses like ours are disappearing daily because people’s buying habits are changing,” said McFadden. “Brick and mortar stores are really suffering because of it.”

It was when the city served the McFadden family an emergency decree to repair the building’s facade, the price of which would exceed a whopping $125,000, that McFadden turned to GoFundMe to seek support from the community his family had served diligently for nearly 60 years. 

staubitz market black and white photo
The market has been in the family since 1967, and John McFadden Jr. took over when his father passed away last year. Photo courtesy of John McFadden Jr./GoFundMe

The GoFundMe has seen an outpouring of support from a grateful community that has already donated an excess of $55,000. 

Donors wrote messages of support and shared fond memories of the market on the webpage — celebrating the quality of the store and its longtime presence on Court Street. Some said their families had been visiting the butcher shop for generations, and hated to see it in danger.

“It just exploded into something beyond what it was in my mind. I was really thinking about only asking the people in the community who benefit from our services and our products but this went national. I mean, people were donating from other states,” said McFadden.

Reflecting on the history of Staubitz Market, McFadden attributed his father’s love for the business and the legacy he left behind as the reason why the people of Cobble Hill and beyond felt the need to give back.

“My dad never did it for the money,” said McFadden. “I think he would be just so elated to know that the community appreciated him and the store so much that they would be willing to give in the way that they have.”

Those who wish to donate can visit the Staubitz Market GoFundMe page or visit the store at 222 Court St.