Baltimore…Yakov Yarmove of SuperValu is in the midst of his annual whirlwind tour of stores under SuperValu and most of the stores have already opened their Passover aisles, even before Purim (March 20th), he says. To him and many other retailers, the late Passover (eve of April 18th) is good for sales. Yarmove and other retailers reached by Kosher Today are optimistic about sales with some predicting “at least a 10% increase in sales.” In New York, more than half of the independents made the transition to Passover just after Purim with the remaining opening the Passover aisles by early next week. At Brooklyn’s Pomegranate, the change was in place by week’s end last week. Many bloggers reported that most of the kosher meats were already Passover worthy. Michelle wrote: “The heavy butcher paper was already on the counter last Thursday, which is my signal that Passover is here. As if the season needed any more reminders, many chains, community based organizations, and kashrus agencies sponsored events that related to Passover. Florida based Winn-Dixie is sponsoring special Passover events in several of its kosher stores. Winn-Dixie will celebrate Passover with traditional kosher cooking demonstrations supervised by ORB and sponsored by Kedem, Streits and Manischewitz. Shoppers will have the opportunity to enjoy a live, special cooking demonstration provided by Chef Doris featuring authentic Passover recipes such as tulumba tatlisi and agristada with gefilte fish. In addition, event attendees will also have the opportunity to sample kosher wines and to pick up a Haggadah and a coupon book that features more than $8 in savings. The events will take place in the chain’s stores in Tamarac, Hollywood and Boca Raton. For most retailers, opening the Passover shelves also means finding space for the year-round items that are being replaced, unless, of course, you have a separate Passover store, which is common for stores that just happen to have space they do not use.
Passover events were everywhere from coast to coast. In New York, the Jewish Week sponsored a Grand Wine Tasting on Sunday with food provided by Tnuva, Wolf & Lamb (a Manhattan restaurant) and Tribe Hummus. The Orthodox Union (OU) set up a special Web site for Passover, even offering recipes from Norene Gilletz and Eillen Goltz, noted food writers. Last year, more than 85,000 unique visitors had their Passover questions answered at oupassover.org. In Chicago, the cRc was promoting a Passover Fair to be held next Sunday at the Hebrew Theological College (Skokie Yeshiva) with several booths to help the community prepare for Pesach, including a Romaine lettuce checking demonstration, knife sharpening, hagalas kaylim (the koshering of vessels), and a sofer (scribe), among others.