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Sullivan County, NY - Catskills ShopRite Stores Catering to Jewish Customers

Published on: July 20, 2011 12:16 PM
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Zelig Krymko serves as the Jewish Community Liaison and Kosher Consultant to the Monticello, Liberty and Ellenville stores.Zelig Krymko serves as the Jewish Community Liaison and Kosher Consultant to the Monticello, Liberty and Ellenville stores.

Sullivan County, NY - Walk into a ShopRite store in Sullivan or Ulster county on a Thursday afternoon and you may be surprised not only by the number of kosher products on the shelves, but also by having the cashier wish you a good Shabbos as you check out.

For the past three summers, ShopRite has made a serious effort to woo the 250,000 Chasidic and Orthodox customers who vacation up in the Catskills, hiring Zelig Krymko to serve as the Jewish Community Liaison and Kosher Consultant to the Monticello, Liberty and Ellenville stores.

Krymko’s duties are vast and varied, having taught the corporate offices the finer nuances of kashrus, educating customer service employees how to deal with the Jewish community, advising stores what types of products to carry and when to carry them and even creating flyers in the stores that not only list kosher sale items, but also licht bentshing time, the current parsha and even a short synopsis of the parsha.  He also travels to other local stores, including Walmart and Jewish grocery stores, to make sure that ShopRite’s prices are competitive. 
“When I got here, their idea of kosher meat was Hebrew National,” said the 34 year old Queens resident in an interview with VIN News.  “I taught them how the Jewish community thinks and buys.  We brought in Meal Mart meats, Abeles and Heyman hot dogs.  I taught them what cholov yisroel means and put them in touch with the distributors.”

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Krymko, a single father who works as a Hebrew-Russian translator during the year, helps the stores attract summer residents by stocking kosher products and placing appropriately worded advertising and in-store coupons in Jewish publications.  He is proud of the fact that ShopRite has a strong relationship with area Shuls, sponsoring kiddushim at the Young Israel of Ellenville and the Landfield Avenue Synagogue in Monticello in past years, with an upcoming Kiddush planned this year in Swan Lake.

One of the more innovative ideas that Krymko has recently launched with ShopRite is summer camp night activity programs.  Camps are invited to plan in-store scavenger hunts with Krymko.  Every participant receives a bag of chips and a drink and the winning team is awarded a $25 Shop Rite gift certificate.  The entire store is treated to an hour of Jewish music over the PA system during the scavenger hunt.

“It is a win win situation,” said Krymko.  “The kids have a great time and when they are done, they are thrilled to have a chance to do some shopping of their own.” 


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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 20, 2011 at 12:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Nice, common sense move. It should be emulated by other big chain stores who fail to realize the buying power of the heimeshe community. If they were to open big modern stores in the heimeshe neighborhoods and carried the right products, they would wipe out the small, mom and pop stores with their higher prices, limited selections, and frequently lower quality products

2

 Jul 20, 2011 at 12:22 PM einer Says:

Looks like they have a sense of business...

3

 Jul 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM kollelfaker Says:

great, there go the small shops that charge us to death because they are kosher move over wal mart

4

 Jul 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM realistic Says:

I shop a lot in the monticello store and am very pleased with their service.
Their fruits and vegetables are the best, although expensive.
I was surprised to see the big collection of kosher meat and poultry that they carry. However, I can't get myself to buy chicken or meat there. For some reason my instinct tells me that it should only be purchased from a frum yid.

5

 Jul 20, 2011 at 12:46 PM CHAIM36 Says:

This is a great kidush hashem. I would urge him not to promote these sugary candies to our children due to obesity and diabetes.

6

 Jul 20, 2011 at 12:51 PM Anonymous Says:

They were started by a Jewish family, although not Orthodox.

7

 Jul 20, 2011 at 01:29 PM Leibeskind Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

They were started by a Jewish family, although not Orthodox.

Would that stop you buying from them?

8

 Jul 20, 2011 at 02:04 PM Kashrus Says:

Reply to #4  
realistic Says:

I shop a lot in the monticello store and am very pleased with their service.
Their fruits and vegetables are the best, although expensive.
I was surprised to see the big collection of kosher meat and poultry that they carry. However, I can't get myself to buy chicken or meat there. For some reason my instinct tells me that it should only be purchased from a frum yid.

I guess your 'instinct' trumps the halocha of double seals when you buy from a non shomer shabbos.

9

 Jul 20, 2011 at 03:57 PM kollelfaker Says:

Reply to #4  
realistic Says:

I shop a lot in the monticello store and am very pleased with their service.
Their fruits and vegetables are the best, although expensive.
I was surprised to see the big collection of kosher meat and poultry that they carry. However, I can't get myself to buy chicken or meat there. For some reason my instinct tells me that it should only be purchased from a frum yid.

why who do you think is in the back cutting the meat and the meat and chickens that come to these stores are double rapped and come packaged

10

 Jul 21, 2011 at 12:40 AM LiberalismIsADisease Says:

The best time to shop this store is from September thru mid June! PERIOD!!

11

 Jul 21, 2011 at 09:16 AM Aron1 Says:

Reply to #10  
LiberalismIsADisease Says:

The best time to shop this store is from September thru mid June! PERIOD!!

Sorry, but from Sept. to June Shoprite doesn't stock many of the kosher products that they stock during the summer.

12

 Jul 21, 2011 at 12:58 PM FinVeeNemtMenSeichel Says:

Reply to #11  
Aron1 Says:

Sorry, but from Sept. to June Shoprite doesn't stock many of the kosher products that they stock during the summer.

That's why, chuchem. Not every comment is pro-heimish-crowd by default, as is the case with our friend #11.

13

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