'Whole Foods' of kosher shops opens in Midwood
A boy does some grocery shopping at Pomegranate kosher foods supermarket on Tuesday in Midwood. (Photo by AP)
Dubbed as the kosher Whole Foods, Pomegranate, Midwood's much-anticipated upscale supermarket, opened its doors yesterday to a neighborhood full of observant Jews, many with disposable income.
"This is a prime location," said a well-dressed orthodox woman who did not wish to be named. She was impressed by the cleanliness of the store. "I waited two years for something to open here; what was here before ... was filthy."
The 20,000-square-foot store at 1507 Coney Island Ave. at Avenue L replaces a KDS Supermarket. It has a 50-car parking lot and full-time rabbinical supervision over products ranging from prepared foods (bundles of haricot verts, sushi, roasted chicken) to imported snacks to dry-aged beef. A butcher pointed out a customer who bought $150 worth of their best steaks, at $32.99 a pound.
"Our clients will come from way beyond Midwood," manager Mayer Gold said. "I've already seen hundreds of people in here from all walks of life."
Gold tells us that any time the store or its kitchen is open, there are two rabbis paying attention to every move. Its "high-end that happens to be kosher," he says.
But some people were just window-shopping. "It won't be my main store," said a woman in her 30s who declined to be named. "But there are some interesting items."
The store is owned by Abraham Banda, of Williamsburg, who also owns a kosher grocery store in Great Neck, Gold said.
Jesse Blonder, director of the nearby Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, hopes Pomegranate will live up to its claims. "I hope to have a one-stop shopping experience over there," he says. "I can't send my staff to Red Hook Fairway every time we need good kosher cheese."
-- Sara Pepitone