November 10, 2008

Star Market considered kosher butcher in Chestnut Hill?

Filed under: Food, Judaism, Newton — marcstober @ 10:01 am

Cross-posted to

An article in Friday’s Jewish Advocate said that Star Market had been considering, but decided against, including a kosher butcher in their store being rebuilt in Chestnut Hill. The company didn’t comment on the plans in the article, citing only that they would be including a kosher bakery as part of balancing customer needs within the “footprint” of the store. The source for the article was Rabbi Mendy Uminer of Chabad Lubavitch of Chestnut Hill, who said had been in discussions with store management and he believed it was financial decision.

Of course, a kosher butcher, which would requires a whole second butcher operation, needs more room than a kosher bakery, where you are basically just certifying the same products you’d be selling anyway. The whole south of Newton seems to be under-served by grocery stores, probably a result of Newton zoning that makes it very difficult to build commercial structures as large as most new grocery stores, so it doesn’t seem like a problem specific to kosher-keeping Jews.

On a positive note: I noticed while shopping in Shaw’s in Newtonville yesterday the return of pre-packaged Empire kosher chicken along with Meal Mart kosher beef. A while back they switched exclusively to the Rubashkin’s brand, which has since gotten a lot of bad publicity for its labor practices. I’m not qualified to judge them, but I’d rather not buy a brand tainted by scandal. Still, a couple sections of pre-packaged meat really doesn’t compare in terms of price and selection to what you can get at a place like the Butcherie in Brookline.

I guess if Jews have waited thousands of years for a return to Zion and are still waiting for the Messiah, we can wait a bit longer for a place to buy kosher meat with adequate parking. 🙂