January 12, 2015

Houston: A New and Dynamic Kosher Market

Houston…What does it take for a city like Houston, Texas to become a major US destination for kosher? In the last decade, this city has gone from two kosher restaurants to nine. But the growth hasn’t stopped there. The city now has six kosher bakeries, a frozen yogurt store, a dozen kosher caterers that serve eight major hotels, a food truck and more. They also recently opened their first high-end steakhouse. Houston has about 35,000-65,000 Jews and 500 strictly kosher families. It has become a favorite amongst young Orthodox Jews because of numerous job opportunities, an excellent climate, and a community with an ideal infrastructure of shuls and Jewish day schools. Some 30 new Jewish families are moving to Houston every year. The Houston Jewish community subsidizes the kosher stores, restaurants, and catered events with fundraisers so that they can make kosher more accessible and affordable. The Houston Kashruth Association (HKA) is a non-profit organization that offers kosher supervision for Houston and around the world based on national kosher standards. HKA has been providing quality kosher supervision to food establishments and manufacturers for more than 35 years. Their mission is to educate consumers on kosher through hotlines, kosher food guide books, and making  kosher in Houston easy and accessible. There are various programs that help raise kosher awareness in Houston, including Kosher Awareness Month every March that includes special events, food and wine tastings, treasure hunts, and classes that teach about eating kosher. The goal of this event is to show consumer that kosher can be gourmet and tastes good. Jewish officials in Houston are hoping to attract younger Jews in larger numbers to a city they say “has everything.”