WARE, Mass. (WWLP) – Being a small town family business can be difficult among the larger companies and economic changes, so lasting a couple generations is uncommon these days.
“We’re coming to America! We’re coming to America.” This is Charlie Lask.
A small town business owner by day, and Neil Diamond impersonator by night, well usually. Saturday was a special occasion, so Charlie broke out the red sequin shirt and leather pants early. “You know my store has been there 80 years so I figured we needed to do something to commemorate this.,” said Lask.
Charlie is the owner of Nat Falk, a men’s clothing store on Main Street in Ware. “There have been three owners in 80 years. Nat Falk was the original owner. My dad came to this country in 1948 as a holocaust survivor. Went to work in 1949 working for Nat, became an owner in the 60’s, became the owner in 1977 and I bought the business from him in 1989,” said lask.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary for the store Lask put on a concert with his “Western Mass All Star Band” across the street at Veterans Memorial Park. Money and food donations were being taken for the Jubilee Cupboard, which is a part of the Trinity Church of Ware. Anyone who donated got a discount coupon to the store.
The mens clothing store was started by Nat Falk in 1936, the current owner Charlie Lask says they’ve managed to last so long over the last 80 years because of the quality of products that they offer, the service that they have. And how they’ve expanded over the years.
One of Lask’s employees has been there 16 years. “It started with Charlie being my landlord, I owned a video store and I was next door to him and when I decided to close, he had asked me to come work for him part time. So I just tell everybody I came with the building,” said Judy Fare.
Aside from suits, ties, shoes and apparel Lask said the store has done well with selling outdoor workwear.
Andrew Tombor told 22News, “I spend it here, it’s really convenient, they’ve got all the safety gear and everything. So I’d rather give him the money then some corporation I guess.”
“One thing that I really like is that you know small towns like this are struggling and people like myself who don’t visit these types of places very often you know every little bit helps,” said Charles McCoy of Ware.
“You know it’s the people of Ware and the surrounding communities that have kept us going all these years, and I’m indebted to them and I always will be,” said Lask.
Lask said it’s been a journey. “I started working there in 1983, with really no plans with what I wanted to do with my life as a young kid, and I was play in a band and had to make a decision about either going on the road with the band or sticking around and pursuing this career and I think I made the right choice,” said Lask.
Lask has two kids in their 20’s, a wife, his own business, and can continue to sing with his band when he gets the chance.