July 24, 2017

The “Shopping Experience” Comes to the Catskills

South Fallsburg, NY - For an estimated 350,000 transplants from New York and New Jersey, summer 2017 in the Catskills includes a much improved kosher “shopping experience,” defined by many in the industry as large stores, wide aisles, ample parking, great selection and more. Back in the olden days, say the old-timers, there were little grocery stores, sometimes attached to bungalow colonies but nowadays there are options for a real “kosher experience.” Of course, there are the “big boys” such as ShopRite and Walmart who carry a full line of kosher foods, but then there are also the independents like Landau’s who has significantly upgraded his store in South Fallsburg as have such nearby stores as Yagdil and Skopp’s. Just a few miles away in Monticello is Mountain Foods and then there is Buy-Rite in Woodridge. You can even get an assortment of Pomegranate products in Crunchies in Center One in Woodridge. “I used to bring most of my food from New York,” said Leah, a mother of 4, “but now you can get everything fresh here.” Leah and other shoppers agree that there are some differences in prices, with one or two “being outrageously expensive,” she says. For kosher purveyors, much of the business is merely a shift from the city, as one put it. But the summer business in the Catskills is still believed to net more than $50 million for just 10 weeks. Increasingly, there is somewhat of a year-round kosher business in the Catskills with only Buy-Rite and Yagdil open all year in addition to the large chains who downsize their kosher offerings during the winter. There is also a significant foodservice business in the Catskills with its large number of summer camps. All in all, the Catskills nowadays is very much part of the year-round kosher mix.