Born in Brooklyn, Daniel Levine has been a Little Silver resident for over 40 years. In 1962, Levine moved from New York to Matawan when his father went into business in Keyport. This was a scary move for the young Levine. There was no Verrazano Bridge at this time to aid with the commute.
Married life led Levine to move to West End. A friend, who just recently passed away at 93, recommended Little Silver as a place to find a home. Levine purchased his first and only home in Little Silver in 1969.
At this home, Levine and his wife raised two children who attended Red Bank Regional. Levine’s wife was a teacher in the Eatontown school system.
Making his living as a Factory Rep in the Sales Division, Levine eventually became a part of a group that owned the Discount Center in Keyport. In 1980, Levine bought his hardware business in Little Silver. Starting out as a small gift-type business, Levine did a good deal of outside selling due to the limitations of his space.
In 1991, Levine started to build the current location for his Little Silver Community Hardware. Located at 44 Church Street, he moved into this building on June 23rd, 1991. Securing this location was a three year process, though. “Some residents didn’t like the idea of a hardware store being built here,” stated Levine. “This was also a tedious time for me. I was juggling many balls in the air.”
“The banks were not as forthcoming with loans at that time,” continued Levine. However, he eventually received help from one of his customers who just happened to be a banker.
With a father that was in the hardware business in New York, it seemed only natural that Levine would find his way into this line of work.
“I am here 7 days a week,” stated Levine. “I can walk to work. I enjoy the social aspect of the hardware business. Being here for over 35 years, my customers are my friends. We’ve shared successes and failures. I’m as home here as I am in my own house.”
“People come here because we’re here a long time,” continued Levine. “We don’t try to be something we’re not. But, we make it happen. “
In 2005, Levine was operated on for a brain tumor. Along with his wife, two employees (Ed Kubaitis and Ted Maione) were a big help during this rough period. Levine was away from his business for 6 months. Maione is a retiree of Bell Labs and has been at this hardware store since 1985, longer than he worked at Bell Labs. Kubaitis has worked for Levine for 10 years.
Levine spent 6 years on the Two Rivers Sewer Authority. He has been a town Councilman, as an Independent, for 3 years. As an Independent, Levine reaches out to both Democrats and Republicans. With his term coming to an end, Levine is running for Mayor.
“I hope to be a Mayor that is hands-on,” assured Levine. “I’m gonna work as hard on Monday, as Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I campaign on a one-to-one basis. I don’t put up signs. They just pollute the atmosphere. I look for positive ways to make things happen for the community. I look for that long-term solution.”
Utilizing the same principles he uses in business, Levine states, “I could accomplish something. I’m not riding on the past. I’m betting on the future.”
“I’ve always felt comfortable in Little Silver,” continued Levine. “It is a community-driven community.”
Levine refers to Bill Bradley and Joe DiMaggio when talking about his business acumen. While DiMaggio made it look easy on the field, Bradley always knew where the ball was.
“I am fortunate to have 2 children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, a wife and 4 grandchildren,” boasted Levine. Levine and his wife have a retreat home in Salem, Massachusetts. They are closer to their family when they stay at their retreat home.
From the gas grills on the inside of the store to the wheelbarrows on the outside, there is something to fill any home need at Little Silver Community Hardware. To find out if they have what you are looking for, call (732) 747-2133. There is also a good chance that Daniel Levine will answer the phone.
“I’m just an average guy who likes to meet people,” concludes Levine. “I owe everything I have to my family and the people who work for me.”