Yes, everything’s kosher.
That’s the answer to the biggest question Operations Manager Shawn McGrory has gotten since ShopRite at 11000 Roosevelt Blvd. announced its bakery is now completely kosher.
As part of a yearlong process, the store has brought in new pans, ovens, utensils, paper goods, you name it — all supervised by a mashgiach and Keystone K, Community Kashrus of Greater Philadelphia.
Richard McMenamin, whose family has owned the store for 20 years, first saw the demand for kosher products rise so steadily that he decided to build a special kosher section for meat, dairy and pareve.
A few years ago, he stepped down and passed the business on to his children, Sean and Bria, who’ve carried on the family tradition.
“The past year and a half, we’ve been building upon what Dad started,” company President Sean McMenamin said. “We’ve been having conversations internally and with Keystone K how we can better serve the community.
“One of the issues was a kosher bakery. As we continued to bring in more items, we gave real thought to it. We finally decided to make the investment in the facility and moved forward with the conversion.”
In case you’re wondering how easy it is to convert what was essentially treif territory to kosher, it’s not.
“It’s a long process,” explained Moshe Suissa, the mashgiach at ShopRite for 16 years, who supervised the transition. “We changed all the pans, all the tools. We got new ovens and then had to label all the products dairy, pareve and for the ultra-Orthodox.
“It’s not easy. You’ve got to change habits and make sure what pan goes with what product.”
Once all that’s taken into account, the actual baking itself really doesn’t change. And neither should the prices, since everything’s made on the premises.
“Twenty years ago, when I had the opportunity to purchase ShopRite on the Boulevard, I looked at the demographics of the neighborhood,” recalled Rich McMenamin, now retired, although he remains involved with the business. “When the first Passover came and I received deliveries, I never saw so much kosher product.
“I put it on display, and we were out of it three days before Passover.”
The best part now is hearing the customer appreciation.
“I’ve gotten a ton of customer compliments,” said McGrory. “Actually, it came from a lot of recommendations from customers asking to buy kosher bagels and donuts.”
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