Beloved boutique and Main Street anchor

Nicole Fuentes

Downtown Patchogue Village has changed a lot over the years. From the mecca of retail shopping in the 50s and 60s, to the sterile storefronts of the 80s, to the bustling restaurant, bar and shopping scene, this is now.

One thing, however, has remained constant, as for nearly a century Blum’s has been a main street staple in Patchogue. Especially this year, the Siegels will celebrate 95 years of activity.

“It’s a success and a long-time success for a business to be in place for so long,” said Mayor Paul Pontieri, explaining how Blum’s attracts people as an asset to the village. “It really is an anchor of our downtown.”

In 1927 Arthur and Molly Blum opened the Blum Corset Shop at 27 East Main Street in Patchogue, where it still stands today. Blum’s is known throughout Long Island as the swimwear and underwear expert.

Abie Siegel started working there in 1952 and eventually took over around 1982 when the founders retired. He and his wife Bernice (Blum) worked together for 45 years – Abie ran the store and Bernice ran the lingerie department.

Bernice said she first noticed him playing basketball – that’s when she decided she liked him. She invited Siegel to a 16th birthday celebration, and the two have been together ever since. They plan to celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary in September.

Both are 92 and live happily in their hometown of Patchogue, where they grew up and graduated from Patchogue High School in 1948. Abie and Bernice retired about six years ago and Blum’s is now co-owned by their son, Marc Siegel, and Cherie Alleyne.

The secret to long-standing success? Abie and Bernice put it simply: hard work.

“We have great customer service and on-the-ground salespeople,” he added.

As for Bernice, she says she is proud to have served their hometown and is enjoying her retirement.

“We’re extremely proud of what we’ve done,” Abie said of their commercial success. “Bernice has worked with me for 40 years, we have raised three children and she is a great partner.”

Celebrating over 75 years in business, neighboring business owners Lari Fiala and Lori Belmonte of The Colony Shop respect Blum’s hard work and success.

“When we realized we wanted to relocate our business in 2005 and considered a new location, a big factor in our decision was the availability of a store next door to Blum’s,” they said admiringly, also noting that they had been clients for each other for years and worked together at the local chamber.

Whenever a Chamber of Commerce promotion was scheduled, Abie Siegel would always step in and say Blum would pay for the freebies or ask how Blum could help, Belmonte explained.

“We have always been able to count on Blum’s!” they added. “The cooperation continues with Marc and Cherie. Blum’s brings customers to Patchogue from all over Long Island and more. We at The Colony Shop tip our hats to Blum’s on their 95th anniversary and wish them many more years of success.

Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce executive director David Kennedy noted that Blum’s has stood the test of time, standing firm with Patchogue through good times and bad.

“There are very few companies in the history of Patchogue that can say their name is synonymous with Patchogue,” he said, explaining that Blum’s is undoubtedly one such company. “Not only have they been here almost 100 years, but they have given back to the community in so many different ways. I congratulate them for reaching such an incredible milestone and we look forward to another century from Blum to Patchogue.

Among the very many loyal customers, 10-year-old customer Cynthia Gunnerson of Medford, said: “The best place to find a good bra for women with large breasts. Amazing women helping you get the best fitting bra for the most comfort.

Blum’s will celebrate its anniversary this month with a party for friends, employees and family. They also plan to release special loyalty offers for party customers as well.

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