West Hempstead’s Barnes-Sorrentino Funeral Home is honored in HSBC’s Small Business Spotlight
Barnes-Sorrentino Funeral Home owner Frederic Sorrentino said that in the business’s 58-year history in West Hempstead, nothing was quite as “treacherous” as the months of March, April and May, as the pandemic reached its peak.
“People were really at the end of their rope, because they didn’t know where to reach out to,” Sorrentino recalled. “We were getting calls from Queens, Brooklyn and all over the tristate area from people who were just asking for help.”
At one point, he said, Barnes-Sorrentino had to turn families away, because many cemeteries and crematories were backed up for weeks. And many people could not attend funerals, Sorrentino recounted, because of the state’s health and safety restrictions.
Distraught by the heartache that many families experienced, he decided to waive fees for private viewings, and offered discounts for the funeral home’s services.
“Treat people as you’d like to like to be treated, as my dad always said,” Sorrentino said. “We did the best we could under the circumstances, and we persevered.”