Municipal government

Before getting into real estate, Councilman Allan Domb shined shoes

Because he wasn't always the Condo King.

Allan Domb (left) and his older brother Peter circa 1965. (Courtesy photo)

Postelection, for our next installment of Lemonade Stand, we decided to turn our eye to Councilman Allan Domb, a frequent hype man for the local tech scene, who earned the nickname Condo King by, er, selling lotsa condos.

But before he started the real estate firm that bears his name, Domb had much humbler beginnings in the world of high finance: he used to shine shoes at a bus stop with his brother Peter.

“I grew up in Fort Lee, New Jersey,” Domb said. “When I was four and my brother was eight we started to shine shoes at the orange and black bus stop outside our apartment building. We shined shoes for 25 cents, hoping for a 10-cent tip.”

Throughout his childhood, Domb recalls, he also shoveled out cars every time it snowed, later landing the stereotypical childhood gig at age 11: a paper route delivering the Bergen Record and the Hudson Dispatch.

When Domb was 12, he got into landscaping. “I started a business cutting grass,” the councilman said. “I did lawns and then bushes for free. You have to go above and beyond what people expect.” Business was booming, so by the time he hit high school he brought other high schoolers aboard the fledgling enterprise.

Any lessons yielded from the years of precocious grind? “Do the right job, don’t worry about the money,” Domb said. “If you do the job right, the money will come.”

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