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Kosher meats at Brooklyn and 5 Towns Costco

The Jewish Star

By Malka Eisenberg
Issue of July 10, 2009 / 18 Tammuz 5769

Costco in Lawrence now stocks kosher meat from Empire. (Photo by Malka Eisenberg)
You won’t find the cheapest kosher meat in the Five Towns at a kosher supermarket. It’s actually at Costco on Rockaway Turnpike, believe it or not, vacuum-packed by a new sister brand of Empire Kosher Poultry, and jointly supervised by the OU and Star-K.

“Costco has taken a variety of cuts as tests into their Brooklyn and Five Towns stores to see how well they do,” said Elie Rosenfeld, a spokesman for EKB Kosher Beef, LLC of Mifflintown, PA.

First-cut brisket, rib steaks, ground beef and chuck roast are available in “vacuum-packed packaging, so the quality is just as fresh as if they went into the butcher and the butcher cut it that day,” Rosenfeld claimed.

Shoppers at the Lawrence Costco offered exclamations like, “Wow!” and “It’s amazing!” earlier this week as they clustered around refrigerator cases marked “Kosher” that were filled with factory-packed kosher meat and fresh poultry. The chicken is standard Empire fare, under the supervision of the Orthodox Union and KAJ.


For the rest of the story see http://thejewishstar.wordpress.com/20...

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  1. This news seems to be spreading fast. I just got a forwarded email about the Costco meat offerings, what I found amusing was the subject

    "the end of the 5 town vaads hold on our kosher food choices. B.H."

    1 Reply
    1. re: MartyB

      Your right - heck the 5 towns vaad should just shut down, and then you could eat anything!!!

    2. I just went to Brachs today and they were selling chickens for $2.55/lb and more notabaly were selling Empire chickens for $2.89/lb - contrast this with Costco selling Empire chickens for $2.29/lb. I sure hope that Costco carries much more kosher items!

      1. I bought a roast and some chopped meat from the Brooklyn Costco and was pretty happy!

        3 Replies
        1. re: pitagirl

          Can someone post prices from the Brooklyn costco. Would like to see if it's worth stopping in on way to Pic n Pay.

          1. re: njkosher

            Prices at the 5 towns Costco

            Empire Chicken cut up - $2.29/lb
            Empire Chicken legs - $2.29/lb
            Empire Chicken breasts - $2.99/lb
            Empire Chicken cutlets - $4.99/lb
            Ground chuck (85%) – $5/lb
            Chuck roast - $6/lb

            Boneless Rib Eye 11.99/lb (two to a pack 3+lbs i.e. 2 x 24+oz boneless rib steak - yum)
            London Broil $6.49/lb
            1st cur Brisket $9.99/lb
            Turkey tenderloins $3.99/lb
            Beef stew meat $5.99/lb

            They also carry Annon Kosher Pizza - 2 x 8slice boxes - $14.99

            Don't forget, they also carry frozen Empire chickens $1.89/lb

            1. re: MartyB

              Just as an aside, for those watching their weight, the leanest ground beef sold at Gourmet Glatt (I believe they call it shoulder) is also about 85%- comparable in fat to the chuck sold at Costco, but I think it's about $6.99 a lb.

        2. I went to Costco today and saw that they now carry packages of Meal Mart 1.25lb sliced cooked turkey breats for $10. It is nicely vacuum packed so one can buy a few packs and it will last for a while. I just love the pastrami but don't want to eat so much red meat so this is a nice option.

          6 Replies
          1. re: MartyB

            This is a little off-topic, but the Costco in Hanover, NJ (near the Lubavitch Rabbinical College) is carrying big bricks of american cheese for 9.99 (HaOlam I think) and also has deli meats.

            Any reports of the Costco in Hackensack?

            1. re: vallevin

              The costco on Route 10 in East Hanover, NJ is now selling:
              Sliced Muenster (2lbs) - approx $9.79
              Sliced American (2lbs) - $9.99
              Shreeded Mozarella (2lbs) - $7.99
              Goat Cheese - Not sure
              Most definitely not Haolam, or Millers, but a good hasgacha, circle K, I think
              Emek light cheese - $3.99
              Also, Meal Mart vacuum packed pastrami, corned beef, turkey breast $9.99 for 1.25 lbs.
              Meal Mart falafel balls and stuffed cabbage - no idea of price.

              1. re: njkosher

                Whats nice about Costco is the quality of the products that they carry, their prices and importantly the stability of their prices. I believe the prices here at the 5 towns Cosrco are the same for the items that you mentioned.

                At the local stores here the prices for many items are all over the place. Case in point, here at Brachs they were charging $.99/can of Bumble Bee tuna, then I see it at $1.89/can now I see it for $.99/can. Look how well Costco does without the need for "sales". I prefer good stable prices rather than prices that fluctuate between great and rip-off.

                1. re: MartyB

                  Does the Costco in Westbury (Long Island, NY) have fresh kosher meat?

                  1. re: havdalahclub

                    the 5 towns has the traffic to make it worthwhile for Costco to do the Kosher meat thing. I doubt Westbury has that much kosher traffic to make it worthwhile

                    1. re: havdalahclub

                      I've gotten pastrami and meal mart stuffed cabbage at the Rte 110 Huntington Store...no fresh meat.

            2. does anyone know if the rockland county costco has these kosher items?

              1. Just called Costco in Nanuet - Rockland County - They expect to be carrying fresh kosher meat next starting next Week!

                1. I'm making a bbq next week- did anyone notice if Costco in Lawrence carries large packs of Glatt hot dogs? How many in a pack? And the price? MartyB?

                  7 Replies
                    1. re: MartyB

                      Brachs has Meal Mart 5lb for $17 as well as some other brand (something like Har Nof) for the same price (5lb for $17).

                      1. re: MartyB

                        Thanks, MartyB I knew I could count on you! I saw those Har Nof franks in Brach's- they looked a little sketchy, like someone glued the labels on in their basement.

                        1. re: websterhall1994

                          I actually bought a pack of the Har Nof a few weeks ago because they looked more "beefy" i.e. darker than the Meal Mart. When I checked the ingredients the Har Nof was Beef while the Meal Mart was some Beef/chicken combo hence its lighter color.

                          I didn't try them yet since I am at the moment drowning in rib steaks so the franks went to the kiddies.

                          1. re: MartyB

                            my wife's uncle who used to own a kosher deli provision house bought some of the Rib eye at costco. Said it was one of the best steaks he's ever had

                            1. re: berel

                              Just an update-was at the Nanuet Costco today and while they had a great selection of Empire poultry (not frozen), cheese, meal mart deli, etc., there was no fresh kosher beef that I could find. Oh well...

                              the price on the cheese and chicken blew away Rockland Kosher...which blows away anything in Connecticut, where I drove from! Wish I had the time to make a weekly run there!

                  1. Any word on whether the Hackensack, NJ Costco carries the Kosher meat? In advance, thanks

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mommysmazal

                      Not yet. It carries the Meal Mart deli.

                      1. re: Foodtekie

                        The Meal Mart deli stuff is awful. I tried the corned beef and pastrami when they first started carrying them and found them to be tasteless and full and thick fat, almost like cartilage. I haven't tried their turkey but $10 is less of a deal for it than it is for the meat.

                    2. We had an Empire turkey last night that was from Costco. Excellent.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: cheesecake17

                        Empire is the same everywhere, no? It's the meat that is unique.

                        1. re: MisterBill2

                          I've had Empire turkeys that were freezerburned. It was also $!.79 in Costco- as compared to $3.29 in Glatt Mart.

                          1. re: cheesecake17

                            Gourmet Glatt charges $3.39 for the Empire turkey. I know that Costco has less overhead larger volume etc. but how does GG and Glatt Mart justify such a premium. All they do is the same thing Costco does - take it from the box and put it into their freezer. No kashrus issues here. It is frozen, packed and labeled from Empire with the hasgacha in place.

                            1. re: MartyB

                              It's the larger volume that makes the difference. But it's still such a big difference.

                              Costco also had smaller turkeys- 12lb and 14lb..

                              1. re: MartyB

                                It's obviously volume-based, just like with any other distributor. I had a client years ago who had a chain of stores and consequently received better prices from distributors than mom & pop operations or small chains. The difference was great enough that he ran his own distribution sideline re-selling to smaller operations and still making enough to pocket a profit.

                                In addition, Costco's mark-ups are pretty tight (2/3 of their profits come from membership fees). And a store that caters to a limited clientele (and is closed on Shabbos) naturally has a higher overhead.

                                1. re: ferret

                                  Still, a 15lb turkey bought from Gourmet Glatt would cost me $50.85 while at Costco $26.85 thats a cost savings of $24! Not an insignificant cost difference for one item. A 47% savings!

                                  1. re: MartyB

                                    i also have not had good luck at gourmet glatt with their turkeys not having a freezer burnt taste, where costco seems to have a big enough turnover that i dont rememebr ever having that problem