Founder of Maine’s Barber Foods dead at 87

Portsmouth Herald News, NH
Nov 22 2008

Founder of Maine’s Barber Foods dead at 87

By Associated Press
November 22, 2008 10:47 AM

PORTLAND, Maine – Augustus "Gus" Barber, a former meat cutter who
built an innovative food business that provided jobs to thousands of
immigrants in his native Portland, has died at the age of 87.

Family members say the founder of Barber Foods died Friday at Maine
Medical Center after going into cardiac arrest.

The son of immigrants who fled Ottoman rule during the Armenian
genocide, Barber grew his business from a kitchen-based operation to a
company of 800 employees. He began by offering cut-up chicken parts
and later shifted to stuffed chicken entrees such as chicken cordon
bleu and chicken Kiev.

The family says more than 40 percent of the company’s employees are
immigrants, many of whom take English courses on-site.

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