October 15, 2012

Transitions: Dr. Steven Praeger (1947-2012) Ð A Pioneer in Kosher Healthy Eating

NEW YORK -- The untimely death of Dr. Steven Praeger caught the attention of the New York Times as it recounted the story of how a successful cardiologist became a successful entrepreneur of kosher foods. As fate would have it the race to save a man’s life together with his partner Dr. Eric Somberg introduced him to the Ungar family, owners of Ungar’s Gefilte Fish. Their subsequent rescue of the Ungar family member led them to the rescue of their company as well, which then led to the successful Dr. Praeger’s line, and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

They kept the Ungar’s brand, which includes the original gefilte fish and other traditional Jewish foods, and developed Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, which now includes dozens of all-natural, kosher frozen foods. 

The Dr. Praeger’s website continues the remarkable story: “Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods was born and soon became a family affair, with Dr. Praeger’s children – Larry and Danielle, and his nephew Jeffrey - working for the company. Dr. Somberg’s wife, Ellen, and son, Adam also play an integral role in the company. The families now run the business out of a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Elmwood Park, NJ, with 70 employees who feel like family members, too… Dr. Praeger’s philosophy is that good-for-you food should actually taste good, especially if you don’t let artificial ingredients, colors and fillers get in the way. That’s why our products are made with ingredients you recognize, including flash-frozen vegetables and fish from cold Northern waters.”

Many in the kosher industry called Dr. Praeger “a marketing genius.” One distributor said: “He recognized the trend towards healthier eating and sealed the deal by putting his own name on the label; offer the ultimate reassurance of health and wellbeing.”