Plenty of Boro Park Proprietors Provide Pesach Products Without Renting Containers
By Yehudit Garmaise
While some neighborhood business owners previously told BoroPark24 that they “don’t have a choice” to rent containers to provide all the products customers need for Pesach, Heshy Rubinstein reported the other side of the story by interviewing three business owners who are able to manage the busy spring Yom Tov season without parking large containers on the street.
“A container would be very convenient and would give us extra space that we need for the Pesach season,” admitted Mendel Kolodny, who works at Appel’s Grocery, at 4507 14th Ave., “however, we are considerate of our neighbors.”
Appel Grocery stands on a block shared by B’nos Chaya, Bais Yaakov, and Anshei Sfard, which designates parking only for school buses, but not for cars.
“We only have three or four legal parking spots on our block, and we didn’t want to take those spots away from the community but using a container,” said Kolodny.
“By taking a container, we would not be showing consideration for our neighbors,” said Kolodny, who added that managing so many different products without much space does make doing business this time of year quite difficult.
“We have less space with which to work, but it is all worth it to accommodate our neighbors and to make sure the public has parking on the street,” Kolodny said.
Mehadrin Supermarket at 5124 12th Ave., which also provides customers with what they need without renting a container, “keeps clear the front sidewalk of the store so people can pass by easily,” Rubinstein reported.
While stocking nectarines, Mr. Altman, who works at the store, said he understands why shops feel they have to use the containers that upset so many residents.
“It is very hard to arrange stores so that customers can shop for Pesach products,” Mr. Altman told Rubinstein, “Also, right after Pesach, we need to be prepared for the after-Pesach shopping,” as Motzei Yom Tov falls out on a Thursday night, when everyone needs to get ready for regular Shabbos meals.
“I can understand that people complain that some stores are taking up parking spots with containers, but on the other hand, customers also want the best service from groceries,” said Motti Englander, the manager of Kosher Discount, at 4909 13th Avenue.
For instance, customers also want their deliveries quickly: within 30 minutes to an hour, and customers want every Pesach item to be ready for them on the shelves: four weeks before Yom Tov, Englander explained.
To provide both chametz and Kosher for Pesach products in stores at the same time is almost impossible without containers,” pointed out Englander, who said many stores are able to forgo containers, but those who go without only do so by struggling to manage all the inventory that must be carefully separated.
“People should understand that the neighborhood groceries work very hard to serve the community,” Englander said. “By Kosher Discount, we don’t have a container, but I am breaking my head. Believe me, I would if I could, but Baruch Hashem, I am able to manage without a container.”
Grocery owners who rented containers are sorry for the strains to the community the containers create, said Englander, who added that all business owners are doing their best to accommodate everyone in a busy and chaotic season.
All business owners who rented containers will try very hard to get rid of them as soon as possible: likely on the first day of Chol Ha’moed, Englander reassured, supporting his colleagues in the neighborhood.