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 Goodbye Best Kosher

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John Fox

  • Total Posts: 2313
  • Joined: 12/3/2000
  • Location: Union, NJ
Goodbye Best Kosher Fri, 01/23/09 8:01 AM (permalink)
Sara Lee, who owns Best Kosher will cease production of the entire Best Kosher line of products. Best Kosher hot dogs were popular in Chicago and served at Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field. Probably the 2nd most well known dog in Chi Town behind Vienna Beef. Best Kosher is not related to Best Provisions out of Newark, N.J.
Sara Lee claims that Best Kosher was not as profitable as they would have liked. I don't know how much the economy or profits had to do with their decision. Since Sara Lee is a big company, maybe they didn't want to concentrate on a line of products that didn't make them a lot of money. I would have wished for them to keep Best Kosher alive. Maybe they didn't make them a lot of money, but they did turn a profit. Not to mention they were popular and now people who keep kosher as well as those who just like hot dogs have one less choice. This is one negative aspect of a family owned business being taken over or sold to a big company. Most of the hot dog joints in Chicago serve Vienna Beef franks. Many serve Best Kosher. The Best frank is slightly spicier than Vienna. The popular Superdawg, a Chicago icon, serves a Sinai 48 frank made by Best Kosher. Now they will have to find another producer. But it comes down to less choice and the end of a popular line of meat products.
See here,0,7174364.story for an article by a family member. Included is a short history of Best Kosher. Maybe someone else will produce the Best Kosher product line.

    • Total Posts: 2163
    • Joined: 8/1/2004
    • Location: New York, NY
    Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Fri, 01/23/09 5:29 PM (permalink)
    I think there is something that Sara Lee is not telling us. We have seen the likes of Smithfield and Tyson buy out loads of provision companies, close their plants, and then sell zombie products under the original trademarks but made in one of their other existing plants.
    Sara Lee probably wanted out of Chicago like National Kosher (Hebrew National) wanted out of Maspeth. Sara Lee is using it as a tax write off. Sara Lee might have tried to sell the brands to another Kosher competitor, but with the financial climate, there may have been no takers. If they don't sell any product under those names for something like three years, someone else can go in and start the brands up again for free. Sara Lee would be nuts just to walk away. As it is, they still have a few years to try to sell the brands. This may account for the spokesman saying Best Kosher was profitable.
    Except for Hebrew National, there are now no more Kosher meat brands run by conglomerates. We haven't seen Sara Lee's Shofar brand in the NYC metro area for years. But, Empire National, International Glatt, Real Kosher Sausage Co. (999) and Meal Mart manufacture in the NYC metro area. Local Chicago Kosher manufacturers may take up the slack under their own names without having to give Sara Lee any money. People have to eat.
    The one thing Susan Berger does not expand upon is why the family sold out. Maybe they wanted to get out because they saw the industry consolidation all around them. Or, it may have been like the time Parmalat overpaid for all those dairies and Royal Ahold overpaid for all those supermarket chains. Take the money and run. Only this time, Susan Berger looked back.
      carolina bob

      • Total Posts: 3420
      • Joined: 1/1/2005
      • Location: Chicagoland
      Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Fri, 01/30/09 9:25 PM (permalink)
      Superdawg has to change hot dog suppliers??? All of a sudden, I don't feel so good.....

        • Total Posts: 1504
        • Joined: 9/18/2005
        • Location: Westfield, NJ
        Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Fri, 01/30/09 9:29 PM (permalink)
        If they choose Hebrew National, all will be well.

          The Bear

          • Total Posts: 2163
          • Joined: 8/1/2004
          • Location: New York, NY
          Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Sun, 02/1/09 9:06 AM (permalink)
          This is the message on the Best Kosher Home page:

          "Best’s Kosher, Sinai Kosher, Shofar and Wilno products will no longer be manufactured by Sara Lee Corporation as of the end of January, 2009, however, you will continue to see product in your supermarkets through February, 2009.

          We truly thank you for your patronage and loyalty over the years."

          Note they leave the door open for someone else to come in and buy the brand from them.
            ann peeples

            • Total Posts: 8317
            • Joined: 5/21/2006
            • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
            Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Sun, 02/1/09 10:54 AM (permalink)
            That is a shame.I carried Best Kosher products in the deli I ran and they were big sellers.The salami is awesome-guess i will have to go hunting the stores quickly before it is gone!

              • Total Posts: 1937
              • Joined: 8/21/2007
              • Location: 'Nooga
              Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Sun, 02/1/09 12:10 PM (permalink)
              Terrrible news.  Loved Best's Kosher products.  I sincerely hope some company will rescue the brand.

                • Total Posts: 2163
                • Joined: 8/1/2004
                • Location: New York, NY
                Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Sat, 02/7/09 3:33 PM (permalink)
                WBEZ-FM, Chicago Public Radio, has an eight minute audio clip on their web site about the closing of Best Kosher, and a comment at the bottom of the page from a former distributor/broker. Susan Berger talks about her father's reaction to reading Susan's story in the Chicago Tribune.
                There is almost a "To be continued...." to this story.

                  • Total Posts: 95
                  • Joined: 1/13/2009
                  • Location: Sedona, AZ
                  Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Wed, 02/11/09 12:02 PM (permalink)
                  I built my business off of Kosher Best. Not sure what I will use now... I tried Hebrew Nationals but they shrink when boiled. Good taste but not Koshers Best. :(

                    • Total Posts: 2163
                    • Joined: 8/1/2004
                    • Location: New York, NY
                    Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Wed, 02/11/09 3:58 PM (permalink)
                    I read a few of your earlier posts about your carts. I presume you are are/were selling the Best Kosher for the flavor profile and not because they are Kosher. We have had many discussions about Kosher and Kosher-style franks here, especially in the New Jersey Hot Dog thread (esp. read the posts by John Fox). You may want to look at this Arizona-specific thread:
                    Nathan's Kosher is not available at this time because of the dustup in Postville. Certainly, Nathan's and Sabrett (both non-kosher) show up in pockets all over the country, as do the Best's of Newark, NJ.
                    If you ask your distributors what brands of garlic/paprika laced all-beef franks they sell, we may be able to offer suggestions.
                      John Fox

                      • Total Posts: 2313
                      • Joined: 12/3/2000
                      • Location: Union, NJ
                      Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Wed, 02/18/09 7:53 PM (permalink)
                      Another article relating to the closing of Best Kosher:

                        • Total Posts: 9
                        • Joined: 4/18/2009
                        • Location: miami, FL
                        Re:Goodbye Best Kosher Wed, 04/22/09 9:48 AM (permalink)
                        By the way there is a new Kosher Hot Dog  called Louie's All American Kosher they are very good you should try them out at Hess Express Gas Station or visit their website at

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