May 27, 2014

Kosherfest Icon Moves Steadily into Mainstream

NEW  YORK — When Kosherfest celebrated its 25th anniversary last November, only a dozen or so companies could claim that they participated in all of the shows. One of them was Setton’s International Foods. Owner Morris Setton is proud of the fact that despite the company’s growth well beyond the kosher market, he considers kosher as his base. Mr. Setton was recently honored by a large Brooklyn yeshiva and is a key figure in the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn. 
Setton’s is the second largest manufacturers of pistachio nuts with a large warehouse in Long Island and farms and processing plants in California. Setton has ownership in more than 10,000 acres of planted pistachios and currently has the capacity to process more than 110 million pounds of pistachios owned by Setton and its grower partners. Considering that he and his brother Joshua emigrated from Cairo in the late 1950s with $5 in their pockets, they are certainly a “rags to riches” success story. 
To emphasize their growing mainstream clout, Setton’s sponsored the 35th annual Sports Emmy Awards, held on May 6th. At this year’s award show at Lincoln Center in New York City, Setton's Pistachio Chewy Bites, bite-size energy snacks featuring pistachios and cranberries, were featured in 900 gift bags handed out to event attendees, including guests in sports broadcasting, celebrities, athletes, and members of the press. Despite his success and presence in many trade show, Morris still feels at home at Kosherfest where he sports his large yarmulke and is eager to share a bag of his fresh pistachios with friends he has made at the show over 25 years.