This article was first published in JWeekly.
Proprietors of Bay Area Jewish food-related businesses are feeling the pressure as the pre-Passover shopping rush begins. As frenzied as things can get, it is an exciting time of year as they fill orders for new and regular customers and hope that the extra business boosts their bottom lines.
“There’s always that sense of urgency year-round, but it’s especially intense right now,” said Evan Bloom, co-owner of San Francisco’s Wise Sons Delicatessen.
This will be Bloom and his partner Leo Beckerman’s second Passover at their restaurant in the Mission District. “The holiday came soon after we opened last year, and it was quite an experience,” Bloom said.
Bloom is expecting more catering orders than last year, and he expects them to start flowing in more heavily as the holiday nears.
Wise Sons is not kosher, so it will remain open for the entire holiday, and its four on-site seders are already sold out. The matzah will be handmade by Beauty’s Bagel Shop in Oakland (also available for pickup orders). Last year Wise Sons made 800 gefilte fish balls; this year the number could go even higher.
At Oakland’s Grand Bakery, the pre-Passover production numbers are enormous, as orders pour in for macaroons and other sweet treats. “We’ll make around 20,000 macaroons to fill Passover orders,” said bakery owner Bob Jaffe. “Saul’s Deli in Berkeley has already called in an order for 2,500.”
Jaffe said he tries to keep things as organized as possible during this hectic time of year. “People call in asking if they should order or just come in, and I basically get them to order right then and there while I have them on the phone,” he said. “I like to be able to plan ahead and have orders boxed up and ready for pickup. It’s a time saver for everyone.”
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.