High-Quality Barn-Door Hardware Solutions
Necessity is the mother of invention for Goldberg Brothers, Inc.
Utilitarian yet sophisticated, space-efficient yet welcoming, sliding barn doors are a cornerstone of rustic Western residential design. Their romantic charm adds warmth to any home, but they often have an issue. The sliding tracks they hang on can be cheaply made, easily broken and overpriced. John Golesh identified this problem and crafted a solution. His company, Goldberg Brothers, Inc., produces high-quality barn-door hardware. Goldberg’s designs are handsome and classic, engineered to be functional and durable. The door is the focus. The tracks are there to showcase it.
Goldberg Brothers, Inc. didn’t always make barn-door hardware, but it always made solutions to problems. The company is a classic example of entrepreneurship and ingenuity in the West. After fleeing the Russian pogroms, Simon Goldberg started the company in 1897 as a tin shop with his two sons. They eventually became the second-largest manufacturer in Denver, but their best opportunity appeared with the rise of silent films. Eastman Kodak needed film reels and boxes custom-made for shipping, and Goldberg Brothers, Inc. was uniquely positioned to solve that problem. The company signed an agreement in 1940, becoming the world’s premier film reel manufacturer.
Business was booming for a while, but it’s easy to guess what happened to film hardware manufacturers in the digital age. The company was struggling when Golesh became manager in 2009. Looking for opportunities to revitalize the business, he saw a demand for barn-door tracks a few years later, when a design team approached him with a project. “We scrambled to supply the tracks, got some quotes,” says Golesh, “but the prices were ridiculous. So I said, ‘We’ve got the equipment. Let’s see what Goldberg can do.’” He calculated the cost of materials and labor. The result was half the price of the competition. He bought the business and pivoted to barn-door hardware, returning it to its utilitarian roots.
“My wife and I said we’ll give it six months,” says Golesh. “If we can make it work, we’ll keep going.” They set up a network of distributors and were soon supplying the whole country. Larger corporations made cheap versions overseas, but they couldn’t match Goldberg Brothers’ value and quality. “We kept building,” says Golesh, “adding new products to that line. It took off.” They now offer a wagon wheel, a hidden roller option, a series of shutters and the Barnfold® series, a space-saving folding solution, to name only a few.
Under Golesh’s guidance, the company is thriving. Golesh’s son Grant is the operations manager, and his daughter Madison is in charge of the property and facilities the company now owns. Susan, his wife, is part owner and handles the accounts. More than a century after its creation, Goldberg Brothers is a family business again.
Over the years, the company has survived recessions and two factory fires. It has changed locations and produced a wide range of products. Its essential purpose, though, hasn’t changed since its founding: find a problem, craft a solution. In this chapter of Goldberg Brothers’ story, the solution is barn-door track hardware. As always, it will be well-designed and well-constructed here in the West.