By Cindy Mindell
The buzz started a year ago, when rumors of a new gourmet supermarket seeped into Jewish blogs and e-newsletters. But the talk wasn’t about a market known for specialty and organic items. It was about the store known to Jewish New York and New Jersey as the place that treated kosher as another gourmet line, taking the kosher consumer far beyond tea matzas and canned gefilte fish.
With its first kosher restaurant, Navaratna Vegetarian Indian Cuisine, in the works, some in the Stamford Jewish community warned not to wish too hard for the new outlet, lest the project be jinxed and fall through. But now the wraps are off and the word is official. On Nov. 3, the first Fairway Market to open in Connecticut will debut on Canal Street in Stamford, in the newly refurbished Harbor Point area.
Fairway was founded in 1933 by Nathan Glickberg, who named the store after a relative’s toy factory in Brooklyn. He started with a fruit and vegetable stand, where the flagship Broadway store in Manhattan is still located. Each store is still built around the signature produce display that recalls the chain’s beginnings.
“We were looking to expand, and Stamford was a natural because Harbor Point is an underserved area,” says Howie Glickberg, CEO of Fairway and grandson of the founder.
All Fairway stores have an on-site kosher butcher and kosher bakery, with a mashgiach on the premises, as well as kosher grocery items throughout the store. Kashrut is supervised by Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein, director of the Mehadrin Kashrus of the Upper West Side in Manhattan and rabbi of Congregation Minchas Chinuch on the Upper West Side. As plans for the Stamford store were taking shape, Marmorstein met with local Jewish leaders to get input as to what the community was looking for, Glickberg says.
Rabbi Moshe Morrison manages Fairway’s kosher division. A kosher food-industry veteran, the one-time butcher, supermarket department manager, and restaurant manager came on board two months ago.
“Fairway’s idea is bringing in the gourmet for every section,” Morrison says. “For kosher, we will bring in a variety of items that you won’t see in other places. We have kosher-certified products even in non-kosher sections, including traditional grocery items and our specialty departments. Our approach is, What would make a good meal? We bring in items that help people answer that question, and often go off base to get them. For kosher, we get products from all over the world.”
The Stamford store will feature a fulltime kosher butcher in its kosher meat department and a range of fresh-cut and pre-packaged items. The in-store kosher bakery will make bagels and baguettes on site with other packaged items available. Other items include pre-sliced and packaged deli meats, a large selection of gourmet kosher cheeses, both Cholov Yisroel and regular certified kosher, and frozen prepared meals. While all fruits and vegetables are naturally kosher, lettuces are checked for insects under a special light before receiving certification, Morrison says.
There are hundreds of kashrut symbols from throughout the world, Morrison says, with 50 or so from trusted companies. The Orthodox Union is the largest, with 250,000 items bearing its seal. “It’s really easy these days to find great kosher products,” he says.
The 85,000-square-foot store opens on Nov. 3 at 699 Canal St. in Stamford. For more information: <a href=”http://www.fairwaymarket.com”>www.fairwaymarket.com</a>.