Jerry and Jeremiah Pasternak of Pasternak Antiques & Modern Design in Rockland (aka Pasternak & Son) are fervent in their belief that “anyone can do what we do!” Not everyone will end up on their own reality show, however.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, Planet Green, a sub-network of the Discovery Channel, will premiere “Born Dealers,” a new 60-minute TV series that will air Saturdays at 10 p.m. for six consecutive weeks. The show follows Jerry and Jeremiah in their quest to buy low, sell high and celebrate the antique and unique.

The Pasternaks have departed for their winter homes in the mid-century modern buying paradise of Florida, but will be in New York City to do a series of satellite interviews that will appear on local and national newscasts to pump the show. A day before they hit the road, they chatted about their lives’ passion and the show in the place they spend every summer, the former First Baptist Church building at the corner of Main and Summer streets.

The Pasternaks bought the building, which most recently had housed the Goodkind Pen Co., in 2004 and really committed to Rockland as their selling season base in 2008, moving from Rye, N.H. Jeremiah, the business’ proprietor, comes back in April and his parents arrive in May. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, father and son are busy selling the antiques gathered the previous winter and brought north … but don’t expect to stroll into the building for a casual look-see.

“Our entire busy is online and by appointment; it’s not a typical antique business,” said Jeremiah.

Indeed, a look around the warehouse is testament to his statement. The life-size comic book characters, metal cupola and both wicker and wooden motorcycles one can see in the street-side windows are just a taste of the diversity of what the Pasternaks find, buy and sell. Deeper into the building, there are jukeboxes, drafting tables and theatrical light rigs and more; outside sits a pair of airplane nose cones. There also is a small room that contains what Jerry used to specialize in, Victorian and Mission furnishings. That market, he said, is dead.

Actually, the market for what the Pasternaks deal is pretty dead too, in New England and Maine, especially, where traditional and country still rule. But in New York and Los Angeles, mid-century (20th, that is) modern design is all the rage … and in Florida, the Pasternaks find it in abundance, often buying pieces from the people who bought them new.

“Take that 1953 Wurlitzer jukebox,” Jerry said, gesturing to a treasure in the next room. “We bought it from a guy who said he and his father bought it together in 1955.”

Much of what the Pasternaks deal is functional — furniture and accessories that are well designed and well made and can be used for years and still have value as a collectible.

“What do you get putting money in the bank? Next to nothing! But if you buy a functional antique, the right one, you can use it every day and sell it in 20 years and make good money on that investment,” Jerry said.

When it comes to mid-century modern, a niche that Jeremiah, who has a master of arts degree in art history, has pulled the business towards, the return can come even faster.

“You can spend $1,500 on a Saarinen table and chairs and it’ll be worth $3,000 in five years,” Jerry said.

The Pasternaks’ goal for the show is to educate viewers and show them how easy it is to do what they do. It’s obvious, however, that the show is bound to be entertaining too. Planet Green is marketing the concept as Old vs. New School and there certainly is an element of that in Pasternak & Son. Jeremiah was buying sneakers locally for $50 and re-selling them overseas via the Internet for $200 when he was 15 years old; part of the business’ new website is his blog as a 21st-century dealer of 20th-century, mostly American-made, design. Jerry, on the other hand, is just now getting used to using a cell phone.

“It’s true, I hate cell phones, don’t know how to turn on the computer. I’ve got ask him to help me send an email,” said Jerry.

The Internet, however, is really what powers the business and is the reason Jeremiah insists that anybody can make money in what both men agree is a recession-proof business.

“There will always be a market for the good stuff,” said Jeremiah. “And it’s so straight-forward. Anyone with a $100 to spend can shop Craig’s List,” a place where there are really motivated sellers and if you know what you’re looking for and what’s worth, you can find real treasures to re-sell for a profit, he said.

The trick, of course, is to know the value of what’s being offered. Jeremiah advises finding something relatively specific to get passionate about — learn as much as you can about it, “not just the history and background but also know what it sells for and where,” he said.

Examples of his particular passion are all around the warehouse — chairs. A striking example that would have made a great episode is a rare baseball glove chair from the 1960s that Jeremiah found when he and his parents drove the van (a smart move) to Toronto in September for the show’s Canada premiere on the Discovery Channel.

“You never know where you’re going to find something great. I walked into a shop in a big city and saw it and knew it was underpriced. There aren’t many of these left and they are very collectible,” he said.

“Born Dealers” had its origins in a pitch from Jeremiah, and marketing materials posit it as a “real-life ‘Sanford and Son’ — a loving, bickering father and son duo bonded by one great passion: finding cool old stuff they can sell for a profit.” But both men are quick to say that their show is a lot more “real” than other antiques reality shows on the air.

“Everything on it is real. Every transaction on the show involves actual things we found and people we deal with,” said Jeremiah.

One of those people, featured in the show’s final episode, is Rockland artist Joe Barberio, from whom Jerry has been commissioning stained glass work for decades; a number of his stand-alone windows, both Victorian and contemporary, are scattered around the warehouse. And an entire episode is dedicated to the annual Brimfield Antique Fair in Massachusetts, the biggest fair in New England for antique buyers and sellers.

The filming took place in April through June, before things really heat up, so the Pasternaks did have to move up some appointments to give a sense of the real pace of the business. The production crew would show up and film eight hours a day for 12 days at a time, getting 200 to 400 hours of footage for each of two episodes each session.

“When they were here, we had to work around their schedule,” said Jeremiah.

Both men admitted that in the first episode, which takes place in Cape Coral, Fla. — “So we can root for the Red Sox all winter,” said Jerry — it’s clear neither have been on camera before, but they got used to it.

“It gets better every episode, but they’re all good,” said Jerry.

Half-way into Episode 2, the Pasternaks head to Maine. The rest of the season takes place in Rockland — local sites include the Rockland Café — and around New England. The show’s spin highlights the Old vs. New School differences between father and son, but any time spent with the Pasternaks reveals their underlying affection for each other and passion for what they do.

“I’ve been doing this all my life, but he’s got the education! He went to Phillips Exeter Academy and St. Andrews University in Scotland, he’s got a master’s degree, he could do anything he wants,” said Jerry, who proudly listed his son’s credentials several times over the course of an hour.

“He’s officially retired,” said Jeremiah when Jerry made a dash upstairs to rescue a forgotten pot of boiling eggs. “He’s retired from selling, but he’ll never retire from buying!”

“Born Dealers” will air Saturdays at 10 p.m. from Nov. 5 through Dec. 10. Beginning Nov. 12, the previous week’s episode will be aired at 9 p.m. Planet Green is Channel 103 on Time Warner Cable’s Midcoast lineup. Jerry and Jeremiah are hoping people will watch, not only because they want to empower them.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed there will be a Season 2,” said Jeremiah.

The Pasternaks’ new website, which includes Jeremiah’s blog and a link to Planet Green’s “Born Dealer” page, is

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to