Portland Press Herald Still-Film Negatives Collection
Call number of Original
Portland Public Library Special Collections & Archives
Portland, Cumberland, Maine, USA
Format of Original
35mm gelatin silver negatives
Views of Barber Foods manufacturing plant, 70 Saint John Street.
The business was founded by Bayside native Augustus Baerberian, whose parents had fled the genocide of Armenians in Europe. The family raised chickens in their Oxford Street back yard.
From Mr. Gus Barber's obituary in the 22 November 2008 Portland Press Herald:
"Family members said Mr. Barber never forgot the invective he faced as a first-generation American, harsh words that colored his world view and changed the way he ran his business later in life. Mr. Barber served in the Army during World War II and later worked as a welder in the shipyards of South Portland. He founded Barber Beef and Poultry in 1955 after eight years working as a meat cutter at a Congress Street shop called the 20th Century Market.
Family members said Mr. Barber saw a consumer demand he could exploit. Most markets then sold whole chickens. Mr. Barber's company would offer cut-up chicken parts – thighs, legs, breasts. Over the years, the company adopted the Barber Foods name and grew from a kitchen-based operation to a company of 800 employees. Mr. Barber also provided jobs to thousands of immigrants who came to call Portland their new home."
Photos published in the Evening Express, on 17 January 1983
[Additional File photo- below- shows the Barber Foods building- 70 Saint John Street- being expanded in 1994.]
"Barber Foods, 1983" (1983). Businesses & Buildings - Portland Press Herald Still Film Negatives. 371.
Portland, Me., Libbytown, Businesses, Saint John Street