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Hiller & Moon burns down after 20 years at Park Slope


After two decades in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, a store popular among locals has been engulfed in flames.

Although devastated by the damage, the owners of Hiller & Moon – a purveyor of cheeses and fine foods – say they are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they have received from their community.

” This is remarkable. People are really coming out of the woodwork to help,” Claire Matern, the daughter of the gourmet grocer owner and lifetime store employee, told the Post about the deluge of donations, volunteers and human kindness they have had. met from their 814 Union St. Storefront was destroyed in an early morning fire last Friday, May 20.

“We believe it was an electrical fire,” said Matern, 32, who was not there when tenants on the building’s top floor alerted firefighters, whose post is located half a block away. No one was injured in the inferno, but the downstairs store was totaled by extensive flame and smoke damage.

A message to the city’s fire department seeking comment, including on what started the flames, was not returned by press time.

The shop – seen here before the fire – is named after owner Ted Matern’s great-grandmothers, whose maiden names were Viola Hiller and Elizabeth Moon.
Claire Matern
hiller and moon fire park slope
The store opened under a different name at the same location in 2002.
Lauren Durden

A GoFundMe for the Park Slope institution, describing it as “Brooklyn’s best little delicatessen,” raised some $24,000 of its $50,000 goal. In addition to money, community members also offered other methods of assistance.

“People would bring us water and bagels and hang out all day Friday and Saturday,” she said. A neighbor who is a graphic designer offered to make them a sign explaining that they had a fire for their now closed storefront. A nearby wine store sent them a case of wine. “Everyone is like, we’re here to participate.”

“My father can’t walk in the block, everyone offers to help. It took her 45 minutes to get from Union St. to Second and back because so many people were stopping to kiss her,” Claire said of her father, Ted Matern, the shop owner.

Despite the damage, there is some good news.

hiller and moon fire park slope
Claire Matern grew up in the store her father opened when she was 12 years old.
Lauren Durden
hiller and moon fire park slope
The destroyed interior of the shop.
Claire Matern
hiller and moon fire park slope
No one was injured in the fire.
Claire Matern

“Everyone is safe. The rest is stuff and is replaceable – but everything needs to be replaced,” Claire Matern, who was 12 when the store opened and grew up helping behind the counter, wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. , telling The Post, “The walls are black. The bay window is broken. All inventory was lost.

Miraculously, however, the shop’s papier-mâché mascot, Gideon the Rooster, survived the flames. “A lot of kids asked about him. We say “he’s fine, don’t worry,” she said, adding that Gideon had been knocked down and covered in soot.

A 40-year veteran of the food industry, Ted Matern was inspired to open Hiller & Moon in 2002 after years as general manager of legendary Soho specialty grocer, Dean & DeLuca. “He wanted to bring it to Park Slope, where he’s lived since 1979,” she said.

hiller and moon fire park slope
The broken shop window.
Claire Matern
hiller and moon fire park slope
Floors and all inventory will need to be replaced, the owner’s daughter told the Post.
Claire Matern

“I’ve been so heartened by all the support and people stopping me on the street almost every block to offer their best wishes. It’s amazing,” Ted Matern told the Post.

Among those who volunteered last Friday was Daniel Enriquez, a frequent customer and local resident who had known Ted for years. Two days later, Enriquez, a 48-year-old Goldman Sachs employee, was shot and killed in an allegedly unprovoked attack as he rode the subway to Manhattan for brunch.

“He was a very regular customer,” said Claire Matern. “He lives two blocks away. He came to make sure we were all okay and to see what he could do.

While insurance matters are still being sorted out and their most optimistic schedule remains only “as soon as possible”, Claire says that between their landlord and community support, she hopes Hiller & Moon will reopen and reframed the fire as an opportunity.

“Park Slope is kind of a village, and I feel really encouraged and reminded that the neighborhood needs us and wants us,” she said. “It kind of forces us to do upgrades that needed to be done after 20 years. I’m glad to come back better.



New York Post

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