Harry Novak, ready to open his new business in the year 1939, hired a young, inexperienced sign maker to create a banner for the storefront. Upon completion, Harry noted that the letter ‘c’ had mistakenly been included.
Harry paid for the sign with a smile. He accepted the error without complaint. He may even have viewed the bungle as destiny, or divine intervention.
Perhaps the “c” was the key, and this is how Novack’s came to be. The rest, as you will see, is…
…History & Melodic Beginnings Harry’s store opened as a combination music/luggage enterprise. Harry in truth was an accomplished violinist longing to express his talents; however, an existence as ‘starving artist’ did not appeal. Having watched his parents operate a successful music/luggage business in Toronto in the early 1900s, young Harry chose London for a similar calling.
Harry Meets Surplus World War II broke out not long after Novack’s opened in 1939. Harry cleverly elected to sell musical instruments to the military for use by its musical bands. After the war ended, he bought back the instruments as ‘surplus’ merchandise. This relationship enabled him to purchase other army surplus products for farmers to buy at splendid savings.
The ingenious union of Novack’s and “army surplus” hence began.