— Appreciation — Remembering Alan Belinfante, Co-owner of Beach Sales

Alan Belinfante, an owner of Beach Sales, a legendary appliance store in Revere for many years, died unexpectedly on March 6, 2019. He was 73 years old.

Many long-time customers joined his relatives, friends, and colleagues in paying tribute to Mr. Belinfante at the funeral services on March 8 at Stanetsky-Hymanson Memorial Chapel in Salem.

Mayor Brian Arrigo, Council President Arthur Guinasso, and Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto were among the city officials remembering Mr. Belinfante as not only an outstanding business owner, but also as a great person as well.

“My wife [Linda] knew Alan all her life and I got to know Alan as we grew up,” said Guinasso, who attended the funeral services with Linda. “We also did a lot of business with Alan at Beach Sales. We bought a 42-inch Sony television there that was beautiful. He was always pleasant to deal with and very nice to work with. The city lost a good friend. The tributes at the funeral, given to him by his daughters and relatives – they said it well: he was a wonderful man.”

Zambuto said whenever you entered Beach Sales, Mr. Belinfante would greet you warmly and respectfully. That extra-special, personal customer service, not to mention the store’s excellent products and low prices, helped Beach Sales develop a sizable and loyal following in the area.

“He’s one of the nicest people you ever want to meet,” said Zambuto, who would frequently socialize with Mr. Belinfante at the Bagel Bin on Shirley Avenue, a regular morning stop for businesspeople and a place where Mr. Belinfante held court daily with congenial conversations about news and sports. “Alan was a wonderful businessman, first class, always polite to everybody.  Frankly, you would get the best price on any appliance at Beach Sales, they could compete with any big chain. He was just a genuine good guy and it’s a tragedy that he’s gone so young.”

Mr. Belinfante’s daughters, Lauren Schraeder and Allison Charney, delivered beautiful eulogies that captured the kindness and the love of life’s joys, and the proudness of a grandfather of “a family man who wanted to share life experiences with everyone around him.” Lauren’s husband, David Schrader, also paid tribute to his father-in-law, Mr. Belifante, who was a cherished grandfather known lovingly as “Pop” to his four grandchildren, Noah, Dahlia, Emmet, and Stella.

Charles Freedman, Mr. Belinfante’s nephew, recalled the love of Boston sports teams that he shared with his uncle. They attended some of the region’s greatest sports events, including the 1999 MLB All-Star Game at Fenway Park.

There were warm remembrances of Alan’s lifelong relationship with his beloved wife of 53 years, Sandra (Freedman) Belinfante, who was “his childhood sweetheart and the love of his life.” The couple first met when they were 13 years old.

“I think my dad, it wasn’t that he had to still work, he just had a real passion for being there and for family, and for good friends, anybody who he could help or take care of,” said his daughter, Lauren.

Cathy Belinfante Penn, a former Revere city councillor, has fond memories of her younger brother, Alan, a close relationship built up over a lifetime in a well-known family that has a proud heritage in public service. Mrs. Penn followed her father, the late Charles Belinfante, into city government. After Cathy served four terms as Ward 2 city councillor, her husband, the late Richard Penn, was elected to the position.

Mrs. Penn said that Beach Sales began in 1947, founded by Sumner Freedman as “a small typewriter store on Shirley Avenue.”

“Sumner started the business and eventually my brother married Sandra, and he went in to the business,” said Penn, noting the growth and success of Beach Sales as other similar businesses such as Lechmere Sales, closed their doors.

“Beach Sales offered personal service and that’s why people kept going back there because of the great business they operated,” said Mrs. Penn.

 Mrs. Penn said her brother visited her at Revere City Hall last Tuesday.

“He was the best family man, father and grandfather,” said Mrs. Penn. “He was a great brother. We have many, many cherished memories.”

The family’s legacy of excellence in business, started by Sumner Freedman more than 70 years ago and maintained so ably by Mr. Belifante and others, will continue at Beach Sales for years to come.

(Information contained in Mr. Alan Belinfante’s obituary was used in the compilation of this story).

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