July 24, 2017

Streit’s Sole Remaining Jewish Family to Produce Matzoh

Orangeburg, NY - The news that Manischewitz will stop producing Matzoh in its Newark plant come September will leave only Streit’s as a domestic manufacturer of machine-made matzoh in the US. Little more than a half century ago, the Matzoh business was dominated by four Jewish families, Manischewitz, Streit, Goodman and Horowitz-Margaretten. Interestingly, there were many family members that married into the “competing” families. The Streit family is the only original family to still produce Matzoh. The Manischewitz family sold out in 1991 and is now owned by a large investment group, Sankaty Advisors, and both Goodman and Horowitz-Margaretten were acquired by Manischewitz many years ago. Streit’s was founded in 1915 by Aron Streit, an Austrian immigrant, who teamed up with a rabbi to open his first handmade matzo factory on Pitt Street, not too far from its iconic address on Rivington Street. When Aron died in 1935, he was succeeded by his sons Irving and Jack. In recent years, the company was run by two grandchildren, Aaron Gross and Aaron Yagoda. In 2015, the family finally decided to relocate from its legendary Lower East Side location to Orangeburg, because says Mr. Gross, “we wanted to continue to be a New York company.” However, the challenge was to recreate the manufacture process, primarily the ovens, as it was in the Lower East Side. “Essentially,” says Aaron Gross, “we did recreate the ovens and then added some automation such as robotics, but we wanted to keep the taste.” Mr. Gross says that his customers “swear by the unique taste.” This was clearly evidenced over the past two years when Streit’s outsourced its Matzohs to other manufacturers and many customers were able to discern the difference.