February 8, 2016

The End of an Era for Brach’s Part of Shift to New Age of Kosher Supermarkets

Lawrence LI - Many customers of Brach’s Supermarket, a kosher grocery store in Lawrence, had suspected for a while that the end may be near for the iconic store. They had already heard of the sale of Brach’s in Queens and the store was increasingly lagging in this new age of kosher. Kosher Today has learned that the well regarded KRM and Moshe’s from Brooklyn were in the final stages of negotiations with the Brachs. The sources said that if they retain the discount model of Brooklyn, they will be competition to the new age stores like Gourmet Glatt. For many in the industry, the closing signaled the ongoing transition to a new age of super kosher stores that are seeking to mimic the Pomegranates and Evergreens of the kosher world. The closing could mean the layoffs of 127 employees unless retained by the new owners. The 40,000-square-foot store at 11 Lawrence Lane offers KRM/Moshe’s its first store outside of Brooklyn.

For many industry people, it was the end of an era that began with Sam Brach, the cherubic Holocaust survivor, who was a butcher, and political power broker. He opened the first large kosher supermarket in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens after beginning as a butcher in 1959. He eventually built an 11,000-square-foot kosher empire. Following his death, the children, namely Yanky Brach, expanded the store and opened the store in Lawrence. He was best remembered for his ongoing battles with the Vaad Harabonim of Queens when he refused to come under their supervision. When Supersol opened, Sam for the first time felt the heat of competition, especially since Supersol had the blessing of the Vaad Harabonim. Whether in New York and Miami, Sam’s presence was always felt. Earlier in his life he built an empire of parking garages and became a philanthropist and power broker.