March 30, 2009

Kosher Supermarket Gears up for Passover in Vienna

Vienna, Austria…It is less than three weeks to Passover and in Kosherland there is nary a sign of the looming holiday. Mayer Bochorfoff, who greets his customers in a business suit and tie, explains that he will be displaying his Passover foods about two weeks before the holiday. Although the store has an impressive display of kosher foods from all over the world, it is too small to feature simultaneous aisles for chametz and Matzoh. Located in the 2nd District on Lillianbrand Gasse, it is at the entrance to the Jewish quarter with its shuls, mikvah, Jewish organizational offices, two restaurants (one, Milk and Honey is owned by Mr. Bochoroff). At the Beckerie (bakery), small groups of young men are having their morning breakfast and even the chief rabbi of Austria, Rabbi Eissenberg is buying some pastries. Back at Kosherland, several women with baby carriages are buying some of the Gefen products from the US, cheeses from France and Osem products from Israel. Unlike other European countries, major supermarkets do not cater to the kosher market or to Vienna’s Jewish community for that matter. That task is left to Kosherland and several small mom and pop stores that dot the small Jewish community here.