NEW BREMEN – On Tuesday, a special celebration is planned to honor the 90th year of business for Gilberg Furniture in New Bremen. The milestone notes the business being in the Gilberg family since its inception.
On Tuesday from 4:30 to 7 p.m., a reception is planned at the store located at 104 Schwieterman St. Musical entertainment, craft beer by James Gilberg and appetizers will be available, according to co-owner Jill Gilberg Borkowski.
Founded in 1926, by Paul Gilberg and Earl Hegemier, the business was known as the People’s Radio and Gift Shop. It opened at the site of the current Marathon Service Station, 8 S. Washington St. Borkowski stated the business soon began selling additional items such as lamps and chairs.
In 1929, they moved to 5 N. Main St., located just north of the former IGA building. It was renamed Gilberg and Hegemier Furniture, Television and Appliances.
In 1960, Gilberg’s son, John, joined the business as did Hegemier’s wife, Joyce. At that point, the store expanded by moving to 7 W. Monroe St., where the Bicycle Museum of America is now located. It became known as Gilberg Furniture and Appliances.
In 1962, citing health reasons, Hegemier sold his share of the business to Gilberg family. The name was then changed to Gilberg Furniture.
In 1996, the business was moved to its current location just off state Route 66.
The store is now operated by a third generation, the children of the John and Joyce Gilberg family. Their daughter, Borkowski and her husband, Joe, along with their son and his wife, James and Diane Gilberg.
Borkowski said her parents have since retired but can be found helping out at the store on many occasions. Others on staff at the business are Helen Koesters, Cassandra Monnin, Ben Kronenberger, Ashley Niekamp and Marilyn Poeppelman.
The offerings at the store include furniture, bedding, accessories, home décor, custom window coverings and rugs. They are staffed with three interior designers. Their website can be found at www.gilbergfurniture.com.
The celebration continues until the end of October and includes door prizes and refreshments on Saturdays.
Borkowski, speaking for the family, said in part, “That only because of the support of people in the surrounding area, which reaches many miles, has it been possible for the business to grow and continue to be a service to the community.”
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.