Greater Pike to honor Junior Dabashi for Excellence in Business

Milford. "A very, very, very awesome boss": The Greater Pike Community Foundation says the Key Food owner embodies the community spirit that makes him the perfect recipient of its Excellence in Business Award.

| 25 Mar 2020 | 04:18

Community sometimes means simply group of people living in the same place. Or, it could mean a sense of fellowship with others.

Key Foods owner Junior Dabashi perfectly fits the latter definition.

Case in point: in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, he quickly offered to personally deliver groceries to Milford Borough residents who are ill and quarantined in their homes, and he set time aside exclusively for seniors to shop. But that’s just two of many selfless gestures on his part.

So it is fitting that Dabashi is this year’s recipient of the Richard L. Snyder Excellence in Business Award from Greater Pike Community Foundation. The award recognizes a local business that has demonstrated outstanding philanthropic leadership in our community. Dabashi will be honored at Greater Pike’s annual dinner on Tuesday evening, Sept. 22.

Dabashi not only initiates ways to help those in need, but he never turns down a request and welcomes partnerships.

“I’d be happy to help any business that wants to partner up,” he says proudly.

One of the biggest events that Key Food sponsors is the yearly car show, the Rev It Up Community Event, in partnership with Colin Smith of John's of Arthur Avenue and Rocco Fasulo of State Farm. Proceeds go to Vetstock, a local non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of former and current members of the armed services and their families. It will be held on June 28 this year.

But that’s not all.

“Our food pantry doesn’t get enough help,” Dabashi said.

So when he invited the public to use the Key Food parking lot on July 4th to watch fireworks launching from resident Don Quick’s property, he thought about a way to help: sell food and drinks and give the proceeds to The Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County.

Dabashi is also a sponsor of the Milford Santa Claus Sleigh ride, which collects food for the pantry. His philanthropy doesn’t end there; he cares deeply about his employees and has raised money for a worker burdened with a large medical bill and another with a big loss from a fire.

“He’s just a very, very, very awesome boss," said employee Alex Zitoc. "He’s always looking after us like his family, always making sure we’re all right.”

Spencer Crum agrees.

“Junior, he’s just an all-around good boss," he said. "He brought me in when I needed a job and gave me a chance, an opportunity that no other place would. He treats us and his customers like family.”

And employee Grant Todd said Junior insisted on giving Todd his own earbuds to replace the ones he lost.

“He cool!" Todd said. "He is overall a really nice guy. He’s tough only when he has to be.”

One of 11 siblings, Dabashi emigrated from Yemen 22 years ago, and lived in California before moving to Beacon, N.Y., 12 years ago. He is married with three children. His brother operates a Key Food in Beacon, also a small town.

“We like small towns,” Dabashi explained. “You get to know people one by one—on a first name basis. You can say ‘Good morning, John’ and share life stories. I enjoy’s like a family kind of thing, but on a bigger basis.”

Dabashi genuinely cares about his employees, customers, and Milford.

“It’s not about the money or the recognition," he said. "If it’s going to help, I’ll be there.”

Greater Pike helps individuals, families and local businesses provide a permanent and personal way to give back to the community. For more information contact Jenni Hamill, Executive Director at 570-832-4686 or, or visit and

If you go:
What: Greater Pike Community Foundation's annual dinner
When: 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22
Where: Silver Birches on Lake Wallenpaupack
Call: For more information about sponsorships opportunities, journal advertising or tickets, call Tim Smith at 845-926-4684.
“Junior, he’s just an all-around good boss. He brought me in when I needed a job and gave me a chance, an opportunity that no other place would. He treats us and his customers like family.” --Spencer Crum