March 10, 2014

A Kosher Supermarket is Saved by a Group of Entrepreneurs

WEST HARTFORD — What a difference a few weeks can make. Two weeks ago, Kosher Today reported on the announcement that the 75-year old Crown Market would be closing despite frantic efforts by community leaders to save the store. But shortly thereafter those efforts paid off as three prominent businessmen concluded a deal to keep Crown Kosher open. 

The businessmen bought the store and renegotiated the lease with Udolf Properties. The group includes Alan Lazowski, chief executive of LAZ Parking, Henry M. Zachs, a philanthropist and the founder and CEO of Message Center Management, and Brian Newman, a partner at CohnReznick and the past president and chairman of the board of the Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford. Mark Bakeoff, who bought the market 5 years ago, said tough economic conditions and increasing competition have made things difficult, but the biggest blow came with “one of the worst winters on record in a decade.” 

Sources say that the new owners immediately set out to prepare for Passover and replenish some of the depleted shelves. There was a great sigh of relief in the community as the beloved store stayed open.