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The last days of Streit’s: A photo essay

The last days of Streit’s: A photo essay

Lower East Side matza factory is closing after 90 years

Photo by Rachel Kaplan
Photo by Rachel Kaplan

Streit’s will close the company’s 90-year-old matza factory on New York’s Lower East Side following the Passover baking season in April.

“The economics just finally caught up with us,” said Alan Adler, the owner of the factory and the Streit’s matza store. “It was very sad, a very hard decision to make.”

Streit’s, which produces approximately 40 percent of the matza consumed in the United States, will move its offices to its other facility in New Jersey that bakes macaroons and other products, Adler said. It hopes to fetch $25 million for the six-story building, AP reported.

The photos in this slide show were taken by Rachel Kaplan of Montclair in 2013 as a project for a class at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In her introduction, Kaplan wrote, “The majority of Streit’s employees have been working there for more than twenty years, which is another reason why they continue to operate in the same building with machinery that may not be efficient according to today’s standards. Many other factories have replaced floors of employees with high-tech automatic machinery. These men — whether they sweep, mix, pack, or supervise — are an integral part of the Streit’s family and contribute to the rich ethnic culture of the LES.”

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