November 16, 2015

So Many Stories and Not all of it Samples

Kosherfest 2015 was simply amazing. So much to see. So much to celebrate and so many stories of triumph, sadness, and challenges. Companies that succeeded against all odds and exhibitors that showed up with a booth full of hope. While the show included many aisles of food, some were not food to be consumed with nothing to sample but very much a part of the success of kosher. David Avital was peddling his brilliant concept of Koshwhere with its on-line network of vendors and suppliers that can provide kosher to anyone or any group around the world with just a click. The Rosen Plaza Hotel will soon be a major kosher destination in Orlando thanks to its new 5,000 square foot kosher kitchen. Fidelity has been there for years as a major service for the kosher food industry, especially those who need merchant accounts. There was equipment, packaging, web design and more to help the kosher community grow.

But then there was Mesamche Lev where a glassblower and a shoe display rang the alarm bells that so many Jews have worn out shoes and empty stomachs, especially orphans and widows in Israel and America. Mesameche Lev was looking to the food community to help it feed and clothe nearly 100,000 people that it serves. There was Met Council on Jewish Poverty that was anxiously waiting for some of the leftovers for the show for distribution to some of the poor in New York City. As I walked the show, I realized just how many stories there were that made the show so fascinating. I paused at the Alle Processing booth to remember the cherubic, always affable and brilliant Sam Hollander who passed away just a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, exhibitors were already selecting their booths for 2016. Christine Salmon of Diversified always tries to make everyone happy even as she runs out of space.