Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Community Urges Supermarket To Keep Kosher 

A community in West Hartford could be losing something it has depended on for years: kosher foods

Waldbaums in Bishops Corner is scheduled to close next month, and it has provided the Jewish community with kosher meats, deli foods and baked goods.

Another grocery is slated to move in when Waldbaums vacates the building, but kosher foods may not be a priority.

Big Y is taking over seven A & P supermarkets in Connecticut.

One of them is the Waldbaums location on North Main Street. Jewish community members said they welcome a new store, but are worried about what they could be losing.

Customers of Waldbaums, like West Hartford resident Susan Cleaver, said the supermarket has been stocking more and more kosher foods in the last several years.

"They do have quite an extensive kosher department. It's going to be very said when they close," Cleaver said.

Cleaver said when it closes, she would be disappointed if the new store doesn't carry her kosher food.

The Crown Market, across the street from Waldbaums, is considered a Jewish supermarket, but some Orthodox Jews said the kosher standards are not as strict as that of Waldbaums, and that it abides by national standards.

Rabbi Joseph Gopin, of the Chabad House of Greater Hartford, said his congregation alone has 2,000 members who keep kosher. If Big Y wants to keep its customers, Gopin said, " The only hope is that Big Y, after they reopen, they will continue in this tradition."

Gopin said several letters and e-mails have been sent to Big Y, but so far, the supermarket giant will only say it is reviewing the entire kosher line-up.


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