|Founded||New York City, U.S. (1916)|
|Headquarters||New York City, United States|
|Area served||United States Other International Cities|
|Products||Kosher Food Products|
Aron Streit, Inc. (sold under the name Streit's) is a kosher food company based in New York City, best known for its product, Streit's Matzo. It is the only family-owned and operated matzo company in the United States and distributes matzo in select international markets. It holds about 40 percent of the United States matzo market with its major competitor, New Jersey based Manischewitz.
The company was founded in 1916 by Aron Streit, a Jewish immigrant from Austria. Its first factory was on Pitt Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There, Streit and his business associate Rabbi Weinberger made each piece of matzo by hand. In 1925, with the growing number of Jewish immigrants congregating in the Lower East Side, Streit, along with his two sons, moved his business to nearby Rivington Street. Soon thereafter they bought the adjacent buildings, where the company still operates today.
Since the start of the franchise, Streit's has prided itself on traditional values and customs. A big advertising claim that they have is "while others have sold out to large corporations, we at Streit's continue our family tradition of bringing you the best matzo and kosher food products for Passover and year round."
Streit's 47,000-square-foot (4,400 m2) matzo factory, along with Katz’s Delicatessen and Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery, is a surviving piece of the Lower East Side's Jewish heritage. At the turn of the 20th century Jews, along with other European Immigrants, were crammed into the many unsanitary tenements of the Lower East Side. In 1915 they made up 60 percent of the Lower East Side population. Because of the large Jewish presence, Jewish centric businesses like Streit's opened and flourished. However, because of the poor living conditions, as soon as they financially could, many Jewish families moved out of the tenements to new areas of industry in New York City, namely uptown and Brooklyn, slowly making Streit's a relic of the past.
Since the 1980s the Lower East Side has experienced hyper gentrification. The neighborhood is now a burgeoning area for glass luxury high rise buildings such as the Blue Condo and the Hotel on Rivington – a stark contrast to Streit's modest brick factory. Despite the changing neighborhood, the factory still tries to integrate itself with the community. It is known to give out fresh pieces of matzo to passing pedestrians and its adjacent shop at one point even served as a community art gallery. The Streit family even considered at one point to open a café or bar that serves matzo, to go with the Lower East Side’s new nightlife scene.
Streit's matzo factory usually bakes about 16,000 pounds of matzo each day. In preparation for Passover the factory runs 20 hours a day, testing its 30,000 pounds per day capacity. The factory follows strict kosher laws. Only Shomer Shabbat (Sabbath-observing) Jews are allowed to touch the dough. However, once the dough is baked, people of any religion are allowed to touch the matzo. The entire process of making the matzo is under Rabbinic supervision. In particular, they time the matzo making process, checking to see it does not exceed eighteen minutes. Otherwise, the batch would be considered not kosher for Passover and discarded.
On 20 December 2007, New York real estate blog Curbed, exclusively broke the story that the factory has been listed for sale for $25,000,000. The Streit’s family cited noise complaints, congested streets, and their desire to modernize its equipment, as the reasons for their eventual move. Its realtor, Massey Knakel Realty Services, commented “the building will most likely be torn down and converted into luxury condominiums.”
An offer has been made on the property, above the $25,000,000 asking price, although it is yet to be finalized. The Streit’s family said they will probably move the factory to New Jersey, where they already have a warehouse in Moonachie.
The sale appears to have been canceled or postponed, due to real estate market downturns.
Besides matzo, Streit’s produces many other kosher products under its name. There are two lines of products: Year Round Products and Kosher for Passover Products. They also operate a separate label of foods called Ethnic Delights, which is mainly condiments and seasonings.
Assorted Matzo Products
Gourmet Cake Mix
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