Dearborn: Then & Now

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In 1925, when Frank Luccarelli bought the 100-acre plot of land in rural Holmdel that would become Dearborn Farms, he probably never imagined the store that his two grandsons run today. The eighty-seven years and four generations that have followed have created one of the area’s oldest and most successful family businesses. In the beginning, the farm grew peaches, apples, strawberries, peppers and many other fruits and vegetables that were picked before dawn and sold at first light in New York City markets. In 1950, as the founder’s son Dominick prepared to take over the growing business, Dearborn Farms opened its first roadside stand on Route 35 near the site of today’s operation.

After the senior Luccarelli retired, Dominick, with his wife Delores and children Frank, Dominick Jr. and Lucille moved to a larger storefront where they sold eggs along with the fruits and vegetables. They also added the garden center and nursery.

Today the store, which was expanded again in 1982, includes a deli, butcher shop, bakery, Italian specialty and gourmet groceries and a catering operation. The produce section is bigger than ever, displaying over 200 fresh items throughout the year. Dearborn also ships gift baskets nationwide.

Still very much a family business, you can now spot third and fourth generation family members helping out at the store. In 1999, Dearborn Farms was honored as New Jersey Monthly Magazine’s Family Business of the Year. If you haven’t visited this shore area institution over the past 85 years, there’s no time like now!

In 2006, Dearborn Farms changed its name and logo to Dearborn Market in order to better brand the property and encompass the broader range of products and services it now offers. It also underwent a major renovation that began in 2005 and ended in 2006 with the addition of a new 5,000 sq. ft. delicatessen, a new gourmet kitchen, an 11,000 square foot state-of-the-art greenhouse, a redesigned garden center, a new bakery, new public restrooms, new administrative offices and a new employee break room and restrooms. Upgrades were also made to the parking lot lighting and exterior signage and graphics programs.