Hartz Mountain was founded in 1926 by my late father Max Stern when he imported his first shipment of singing canaries from his native Germany to America. From these humble beginnings, we have evolved into a truly diversified large privately owned family business.

Over the years we have continued to evolve into our current model of a diversified single operating company engaged in five lines of business; commercial real estate, multi-family rental real estate, hospitality, oil and gas and finance. In many ways different yet in all important strategic ways highly inter-related.

As my late father often said “Only in America!”

Leonard Stern
Chairman & CEO


Leonard Stern
Chairman & CEO
Max and Leonard Stern, 1960
Breeders Conference, Tokyo, Japan
Max Stern
Founder
1898 – 1982

At age 28, Max Stern was ambitious but nearly penniless. His native Germany was suffering from the effects of hyper-inflation, unemployment and civil unrest in part caused by the collapse of Germany after World War I. By contrast, America presented an island of stability, freedom and economic opportunity. Max looked toward the promise that was America and decided to emigrate and pursue the American dream.

About the same time a childhood friend of Max, a local canary dealer who had previously borrowed a modest sum from him, told Max that he could only pay back the loan with 5,000 singing canaries. Max accepted the canaries and decided to sell them in New York City where he was told he could get the best price.

Max negotiated free passage for himself to New York on the Hamburg American Steamship Line in return for paying the freight charges on the canaries and spent his time below deck during the voyage caring for the birds. He arrived in America not knowing a single soul or word of English. A great salesman, he immediately sold the canaries to the John Wanamaker Department Store Pet Department at Astor Place in Manhattan, which had the city’s largest pet shop. Seeing the opportunity he immediately decided to establish a new business of importing canaries making his place of business nearby at 36 Cooper Square. We proudly still own that building.
 
Circa 1930
 
Circa 1940
 
32-50 Cooper Square
Hartz Pet Products – 1958
Max returned to his native Germany again and again each time bringing back more singing canaries. Soon he was selling them to a growing customer base across the country including R.H. Macy, Sears Roebuck, F.W. Woolworth, W. T. Grant, S.S. Kresge and other large chain retailers.

By 1934, Max was the largest livestock importer in America and started manufacturing packaged bird foods at 36 Cooper Square selling them under the Hartz Mountain brand to the same customers who bought canaries from him, and the line of Hartz Mountain pet products was born!
Hartz Bird Food Products – 1955
F.W. Woolworth was our
largest customer by 1940
By now, Hartz Mountain had become America’s best known bird food company. Max welcomed his 21-year-old son Leonard into the business who immediately took over day-to-day operations as Max’s health had started to fail. Leonard appreciated the success of the bird food line, but he also knew that Americans needed food and supplies for dogs and cats and their other household pets so he rapidly expanded the Hartz product line offering supplies for dogs, cats, fish and other household pets. This expansion had far more growth potential than bird products and sales boomed accordingly. Hartz then pioneered a revolutionary type of pet supply distribution using specialized display racks installed in the pet food section of supermarkets which revolutionized the American pet industry.
Local Delivery Trucks – Circa 1955
Hartz Pet Products – 1962
Hartz developed numerous unique and creative products like Hartz Yummies, Dog Pretzels, Canary Kits and even Parakeet Training Records.
Hartz Pet Products – 1962
“Perk up your parakeet with Hartz Mountain Parakeet Seed” read one ad. Consumers began to recognize and trust the Hartz brand not only for avian care but for care of their dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, turtles and other household pets. Hartz products were heavily advertised first on radio and then television creating the most powerful brand in the pet industry.
Hartz Pet Food – 10 Acre Manufacturing Complex – Bloomfield, NJ
Headquarters for Hartz Pet Food – Harrison, NJ
Hartz Pet Food Warehouse – Jersey City, NJ
Hartz products were creatively displayed in supermarkets on fixtures
that were designed and fabricated in our Harrison, NJ facility
Rawhide dog bones and treats became hugely popular Hartz products, with demand becoming so great that in 1994 Hartz acquired its own rawhide processing facilities in Brazil which employed one thousand people.
Rawhide Processing Facility – Brazil
Hartz Pet Medications – 1996
Hartz Control, Hartz 2 in 1 and Releve Brands by the 1960s. Hartz flea collars became America’s best-selling flea control product. Over the years, Hartz developed a wide range of other flea and tick prevention products and numerous healthcare aids for dogs and cats including shampoos, vitamins, grooming aids, etc.
Wardley Products – 1996
In 1994, Wardley Products, America’s largest manufacturer of tropical fish foods, becomes part of the Hartz Group as we continued to expand our specialty pet offerings to cater to the specialized needs of tropical fish enthusiasts.
Large numbers of new products are developed regularly, in some years as many as 200 new products are introduced, each carefully tested and attractively packaged.
Continuing to seek out new opportunities to invest Hartz’ increasing cash flow, Leonard Stern looks beyond Hartz’ successful pet care business into real estate development. A unique opportunity presents itself; the building of 700,000 square feet of speculative industrial distribution facilities in Bayonne, NJ, and Hartz Mountain Industries, our real estate division, is born. Hartz now becomes a business with two very fast growing divisions.
First Industrial Buildings Built (700,000 square feet) – Bayonne, NJ – 1966
Leonard with his newly formed real estate division continues to dramatically grow the overall business. Hartz acquires two large tracts of barren marshes totaling over 1,250 acres in the New Jersey Meadowlands / Secaucus an area only six miles from downtown Manhattan. This land, once best known for its adjacency to former pig farms, would soon become the core of our real estate portfolio.

Our initial tract of land in Secaucus, now known as Harmon Cove is among the premier distribution locations in the country, sitting just outside New York City. With its dual proximity to both Manhattan and the New York/New Jersey Ports, it offers a strategic location that is unmatched. Harmon Cove is also the site where outlet shopping began in the Northeast and continues as a popular consumer outlet destination to this day. By now, Hartz has created its own in-house capacity to design, construct and then manage the growing real estate portfolio.

Hartz’ neighboring Harmon Meadow development in Secaucus is a thriving mixed-use project. It becomes one of the premier office locations in New Jersey. The nearby Secaucus Junction Train Station connects employees and visitors to the entire New York Metro Region and beyond. Hartz’ Real Estate portfolio grows to more than 1,000 commercial tenants.

Before: Harmon Cove (formerly known as the "Free Zone Center"), Secaucus, NJ before development by Hartz

After: Harmon Cove Industrial Park, Secaucus, NJ
Harmon Meadow, Secaucus, NJ
One of our Major Mixed Use Developments
Hartz Mountain entered the home carpet cleaning business with the acquisition of the Carpet Magic Company. Carpet Magic provided carpet cleaning rental machines in supermarkets. Hartz designed and fabricated the machines in our own factories, then installed them in stores and serviced them. Hartz grew the business to more than 20,000 rental centers in the nation’s leading supermarket chains.
Carpet Magic Store Display – 1985
On the international front, Hartz was growing as well. Canadian operations were strong with headquarters in St. Thomas, Ontario and regional branches in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. Hartz’ International footprint now included offices in Japan, Taiwan and Korea that served as purchasing support for Hartz' worldwide operations.

In the United Kingdom, Hartz acquired S.M. Cork, that nation’s leading service merchandiser. S.M. Cork distributed a wide range of “non-food” items to supermarkets and convenience stores with weekly store door delivery service. Products ranged from Hartz pet care to baby products, hair care, cosmetics and stationary lines.
S.M. Cork Distribution Center in United Kingdom
Leonard diversifies The Hartz Group’s portfolio once again, with the move into alternative newspaper publishing. He launches Stern Publishing, and soon has local weekly newspapers across the country including; The Village Voice, The LA Weekly, Seattle Weekly, Orange County Weekly, Long Island Voice, and several more with a total weekly circulation exceeding 900,000 and 1,000 employees.
Stern Publications, Andrea Stern, Publisher of our Newest Publication,
the Long Island Voice – 1985
Hartz then creates the Harmon Publishing Company. Harmon soon publishes 180 free local residential real estate photo advertising magazines, reaching well over two million prospective homebuyers every two weeks. The magazines are distributed free through supermarkets, banks, hotels, restaurants and corporate relocation offices.
The Village Voice, Long Island Voice, The LA Weekly, OC Weekly, City Pages, Seattle Weekly and Eastside Week – 1985
Harmon Publications – 1985
While all this was going on accelerated real estate expansion was taking place. Hartz purchased and develops large tracts of land in Weehawken and Ridgefield Park, N.J. The company then acquired additional land and buildings in Jersey City, Newark and Manhattan, all in prime locations. By the end of the eighties, the Hartz name was as synonymous with real estate as it was with pet care with Hartz’ real estate portfolio growing to more than 35,000,000 square feet.
 
667 Madison Avenue, at 61 Street,
New York City.
New York's finest boutique office building – 1987
 
The Classic Styled Lobby at
667 Madison Avenue
Lincoln Harbor, Weehawken, NJ
Our Major Development right across from Mid-town Manhattan. Photo taken 2010.
Overpeck Center, Ridgefield Park, NJ
Only 5 minutes from the George Washington Bridge. Photo taken 2010.
With a focus on family, it was only natural for Leonard to welcome sons Emanuel and Edward Stern into the business. Representing the third generation of future leadership, they begin to work their way up the corporate ladder, with Emanuel starting in the real estate division and Edward in the pet care businesses.
Edward, Emanuel and Leonard Stern – 1990
To further expand its pet product offerings Hartz acquires Wardley Products, America’s largest manufacture of aquatic fish foods and remedies. With a range of more than 200 formulations addressing the special needs of the serious aquatic hobbyist. Wardley’s line of outdoor pond products are Hartz’ first foray into the growing market for outdoor aquatic and pond products. Hartz then continues its expansion with its acquisitions of the Pet Products Rawhide Company of Brazil and the L&M Pet Company, manufacturers of small animal foods.
Hartz Pet Food – Flake Food Manufacturing Facility in Secaucus – 1994
Wardley Fish Food Product Line
L&M Bird and Small Animal Food Manufacturing Facility, Ohio
Since the first days of the company, Hartz has maintained a continuing commitment to product innovation. In 1995, we expanded our R&D capacity by building a state-of-the-art laboratory and research facility in Bloomfield, NJ adjacent to our major manufacturing complex. Then, adding a Life Science Center at our live tropical fish distribution facility in Tampa, Florida.
Hartz Pet Research Facility, Bloomfield, NJ
Hartz diversifies its business once again by developing a hospitality division building the SoHo Grand Hotel and a few years later the Tribeca Grand Hotel in lower Manhattan. Other hotels in New Jersey are built and the Hartz hotel portfolio grows to include eleven hospitality properties.

Steeped in luxury, the SoHo Grand is SoHo’s first hotel in over 100 years. With its 367 rooms and acclaimed design, the hotel offers luxury accommodations in a vibrant quarter of New York.
Soho Grand Hotel – NYC
Completed 1996
The Tribeca Grand marked the first opening of a luxury hotel in Tribeca, the area known as the “Triangle Below Canal” bordered by Canal Street, Broadway and the Hudson River, and becomes another instant success.
Tribeca Grand Hotel – NYC
Completed 2000
It’s time for the next generation to officially take their places in the overall management of our business. Emanuel is named President of the real estate division and Edward is named President of the pet company. Both now join their father Leonard in forming a troika that oversees the day-to-day management of the entire company.
 
Emanuel Stern
President/COO
Hartz Mountain Industries – 1992
 
Edward Stern
President/COO
Hartz Mountain Corporation – 1992
By now, the success of Hartz pet care products and publishing business attracted the attention of numerous potential purchasers and we received numerous offers to sell these businesses. It was a difficult decision, but the Stern family decided to sell both businesses so Edward could concentrate on managing the company’s new fast-growing financial operations under the banner of Hartz Capital Inc.
Pet Products and Stern Publications
With a focus on the environment, Hartz Mountain goes green. Under the leadership of Emanuel Stern, Hartz Mountain launches a companywide sustainability initiative. The program resulted in a complete overhaul of the specifications used in all of the company’s construction and renovation projects. Another marquis component of the initiative is the use of renewable energy. In 2009 alone, Hartz invests millions of dollars to install solar arrays on its industrial buildings and retail centers in the Meadowlands. As a result, Hartz has become one of the largest solar arrays owners in NJ with installations on numerous industrial buildings it owns as well as a large free standing facility in Hamilton, New Jersey. As a result of its efforts, the company is awarded the NJBIA’s Environmental Quality Award. Also in 2009, NJBIZ recognized President and Chief Operating Officer Emanuel Stern as the “Green Executive of the Year.” The environmental focus continues today.
Secaucus Meadowlands Warehouse with Rooftop Solar Array – 2009
Ground Arrays, Hamilton, NJ – 2012
Hartz enters the multi-family residential rental business with the purchase of more than 1,875 rental apartment units in the New York/New Jersey area as the first step toward an aggressive plan to create a substantial residential component to its business. In addition, Hartz initiates plans to build over 2,000 residential rental units on land it already owns in several N.J. townships. Within a short amount of time, Hartz plans call for 5,000 upscale rental units in its portfolio, and plans to continue to grow this asset class for many years.
High Rise Rental Properties
116 Units – Completed June, 2012
Garden Apartment Complex
Under the direction of Edward Stern, Hartz Capital establishes a new subsidiary, Hartz Energy Holdings, to enter the oil and gas business. Leonard Stern had always wanted to participate in the oil and gas business as a compliment to the real estate business, but had been unsuccessful in his first attempt in the early 1980s. This time we succeed and are very excited for this major opportunity to expand our business.
Edward Stern, President of Hartz Capital leads our thrust into the oil and gas business
in addition to his numerous other responsibilities which include the overall management
of the Company shared with his brother and father.
In 2005, Hartz commenced its’ second attempt, initially by investing alongside experienced drillers for the knowledge and contacts as much as for the economic opportunities.

In the following years, Hartz participated in drilling more than 150 new oil and gas wells in Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota and Kentucky. Hartz also acquired non-operated working interests and royalty interests in thousands of other domestic oil and gas wells, and invested substantial amounts of capital into public and private midstream energy investments.

By 2007, Hartz began to focus its efforts on the development of oil and gas production closer to home in Pennsylvania and New York. Hartz acquired leasehold interests in areas that were highly prospective for the development of shale gas production.

In 2010, Hartz entered into active drilling arrangements to develop the leasehold acreage it had assembled. These direct drilling rights represent an inventory of more than one thousand new oil and gas well locations that Hartz hopes to develop over the coming years in an environmentally responsible manner.

By the end of 2012, we will have participated in drilling over 80 wells in some of the most productive areas of the Marcellus shale areas of Pennsylvania.

As the Company executes on this drilling backlog and evaluates a steady stream of new opportunities, we believe we are well on the way toward achieving Leonard’s long-time goal of building a meaningful oil and gas operating business.
Left: Edward Stern and Right: Leonard Stern
Our First Well Drilled in January 2009 into the Marcellus Formation, Susquehanna County, PA
Hartz Mountain Industries continues its tradition started by founder Max Stern, who was in the words of granddaughter Andrea Stern, “a rugged entrepreneur, a visionary, [and] a philanthropist.”
NJBIZ Real Estate REPORT 2011 POWER 50 votes Emanuel Stern the most powerful person in New Jersey’s Real Estate Industry. Everyone at Hartz takes enormous pride in the recognition this honor bestowed on Emanuel and our company.

Leonard together with his two sons, Emanuel and Edward, run a business deeply rooted in the immigrant values of Max Stern, “Hard work and honest dealings”. We love our country and want to contribute to its growth. We create good jobs and are proud of our people. We share our success by supporting numerous good causes. We are a proud, dedicated and productive family.

On October 12, 2011, as a further tribute to Max Stern's American dream, the Stern family unveiled an actual replica cast from the original plaster sculpture of the Statue of Liberty at their 667 Madison building in Manhattan. Standing nine feet tall, the exact scale model was cast using bronze from the same foundry. Lady Liberty symbolizes the promise of America realized by Max Stern, and the success he was able to achieve in his adopted country. As Max frequently said, “Only in America.”