Ned Gladstein believes that if the Jewish community can’t come to the kosher butcher, the kosher butcher should come to them.
The president of Sunrise ShopRite, Inc., recently opened “Nathan’s Glatt,” a dedicated, fully staffed kosher meat department at his ShopRite supermarket on Route 46 in Parsippany. (That store and other ShopRites also carry a full array of packaged kosher products.)
Opening the department “was a great way to fill a void in the market since there are no other kosher meat stores in the area,” said Gladstein, a resident of North Caldwell and a former president of Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex in Caldwell.
Gladstein said the move is different from that of other stores in that the store-within-a-store specializes in custom cuts, as well as prepared, ready-to-cook items such as shish kabobs, stuffed peppers, and other foods that his staff of chefs creates for his nonkosher departments.
“Why shouldn’t our kosher customers eat as well as our nonkosher customers?” he asked.
The new department offers kosher beef, lamb, veal, and poultry as well as meatballs, meat loaf, and turkey rolled with pastrami.
The department is named in honor of Gladstein’s grandfather, Nathan, who in 1940 opened Sunrise Markets, a family grocery store that moved during the early years from Freeland, Pa., in the Wilkes-Barre area, to Caldwell. Gladstein’s grandfather, his father, Irving, and his uncle, Harry Brodsky, are featured in a photograph taken in their original store sometime in 1946 or 1947 that hangs prominently over the counter in the new department.
The picture “is a treasured piece of family lore,” said Gladstein, who, with his wife, Jane, has three daughters, Dara, Hannah, and Liza. Dara, an artist who created the department’s decor, is the fourth-generation family member to work in the business.
“For me, personally, the greatest perk of owning a business is that, every now and then, you get to do something that resonates with your personal values,” said Gladstein. “This is about creating the opportunity for Jews who do not routinely eat kosher meat to do so.”
The department is supervised by the Vaad of MetroWest. Nathan’s Glatt’s mashgiah-butchers are Bryan Stern and Daniel Einschlag. Stern has over 50 years of experience in the industry; Einschlag works with the entire store to provide the “ultimate kosher shopping experience.”
“Bryan and Daniel can always be found back by the kosher meat department, talking with customers, trading recipes, and telling stories of the old days,” Gladstein said.
The supermarket is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to midnight; kosher meat is always available in self-serve cases.
For customers wishing for a more personalized purchase or to speak to the on-site mashgiah, the Nathan’s counter is open Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The counter is closed on Saturday.
Gladstein is former chair of the Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinical Advisory Board, where he funded a rabbinical fellowship that became a strategic partnership among JTS, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Alim Program, and the Rabbinical Assembly to promote emerging congregations in the United States.
“My rabbi taught me that it’s not just where you are on the ladder of commitment that counts, it is the direction in which you’re heading,” Gladstein said. “My hope is that by making kosher meat more readily available, we are creating opportunities for more people to move up that ladder.”
ShopRite of Parsippany is located at 808 Route 46 in Parsippany; call 973-335-2625.