Ms. Olivia Herstein, our kosher expert and Weddings editor, digs into the news about Fishman's Deli and breaks it down.
Back to business: Local rabbis (including my own) postulated in today’s Star Tribune that Fishman’s closing is a sign of the times: Fewer Jews keeping kosher, more local options for those who do keep kosher, a rough economy. I agree, but it’s still a bitter pill for a small community. Byerly’s expanded its kosher departments (primarily in St. Louis Park) substantially a few years ago and offers a decent meat counter, solid bakery, and even kosher sushi, but it’s not a true deli (and it’s even more expensive). Other grocery options include Cooper’s SuperValu in St. Paul, Trader Joe’s around the metro, Cub in SLP, and Costco’s freezer department. I am underwhelmed by most of these, but maybe that’s just because I’ve lived in LA, Chicago, and Jerusalem.
Owner Stewart Fishman’s letter/press release to the community yesterday didn’t mince words: “While there is still a small chance that some market entity will relocate to a new location, it is not clear when and if,” he wrote. “ . . . It is bittersweet, but we are not sad. We created a real center here and we are proud of what we accomplished over the years.” Some Jewish Twin Citians are using Facebook to try to “Save Fishman’s,” but it doesn’t look good. I stopped shopping at Fishman's for the most part when Trader Joe's moved to town (they carry less-expensive kosher meat and more of my favorite products, without the markup). So, I haven’t exactly done my part to support Fishman’s. Still, I will dearly miss their cinnamon-sugar challah. Excuse me while I go grab a few and fill my freezer.