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Kosher items at BJ's Wholesale Club

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BJ's Wholesale Club < www.bjs.com > is a big-box store, very similar to Costco, except that the stores are located only in the Northeast of the USA (and perhaps the mid-Atlantic region), while Costco stores can be found nationwide.

Last night I noticed the following interesting kosher items in the BJ's Valley Stream store (this location has the unfortunate distinction of being located directly across the street from where a poor soul was literally trampeled to death during the early-morning Black Friday Wal-mart rush of 2008).

-BJ's store brand - huge box of 50 OU glatt kosher hors d'oeuvres

-BJ's store brand - box of OU glatt kosher franks in blankets

Fresh corned beef @ $9.99 per 1 pound pack - OU glatt America kosher (?) from New City, NY

-large box of tropical sorbets in freal fruit shells - Kof-K parve

-refrigerated large spray cans of OU parve organic pancake/waffle batter (great with meat sausages and maple syrup!

)

-Yerushalayim brand cholev Yisroel and parve mini danishes and pastries

-Pas Yisroel / yoshen parve Black & While cookies

-Lipton kosher soup mix (surprised to find the kosher - not the regular Lipton - variety)

-Gigantic old-school tins of retro-labled Rokeach "Old Vienna" gefilta fish, loaded with MSG (worth the price just to display them in the kitchen!)

-Gefen matzo ball soup mix

-Large 96 oz plastic bottles of Kedem grape juice

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  1. Any chance that their bakery products at the Valley Stream location, will become kosher? Maybe they don't have the "reach" into the 5 towns community as the Lawrence Costco has and therefore don't feel the need to do in-house kosher baking.

    I had a membership there but let it lapse. A nice store but wasn't woth the extra shlep when Costco was "around the corner".

    15 Replies
    1. re: MartyB

      I go tot he one in Paramus. They don't have as many kosher items, virtually no kosher meat products at all, but they have kosher Cabot cheeses at around $3.50 for a huge block that's at least $6.50 at Fairway.

      1. re: MartyB

        BJ's bakery is not nearly as good as Costco. Not sure you'd want to buy there even if it were kosher, if you have access to Costco.

        1. re: MisterBill2

          Update: I checked the bakery at BJ's today and some of their cakes (the ones made elsewhere and brought in) actually look quite good. Sadly, none are certified kosher.

          1. re: MisterBill2

            I was at the BJ's in College Point last weekend and was surprised to see that quite a lot of the cakes were hechshered. They weren't the ones baked on premises, but they had the same size (half-sheet) cakes that Costco has, for about the same price (approx. $17). They had large, pre-sliced cheesecakes in two varieties: an all "regular" one, as well as one that had three or four slices each of three or four flavors. They also had some large round, bakery-looking cakes, some (but not all) of which had a hechsher. The hechshers varied on the different products, but all were the ones accepted by most people: OU, OK, Kof-K. Everything was dairy, though, but Costco is no different in that sense. They also had a freezer case of Carvel cakes, which are Kof-K. I was surprised, and don't know if this is new or not. I don't think I have ever been in the bakery section before because I never knew there was anything kosher there. I think it would be a good option for a kiddush or other shul functions with refreshments (for shuls that allow dairy, non-chalav Yisrael, products).

            1. re: queenscook

              that seems to be specific to college point and merrick, some of the other bjs will have 1 or 2 of the products, but college point and bjs both have a lot a lot of them

              note, if u see something u like, comment abt it to the manager so they keep it in stock, specially with the hechshered stuff, they seem to roatte trying to figure out whats the right choice for them

              1. re: queenscook

                I picked up a Triple Chocolate Mousse cake last week and was surprised to see that it was kosher. This is their new (to me) line of fancy cakes.

                BJ's sheet cakes are NOTHING like Costco. They're about half the height (last time I looked they were one layer vs 2 at Costco) and not nearly as good. But I guess if you need a kosher cake, it's going to be cheaper than the local bakery.

                1. re: queenscook

                  The Carvel cakes have been at BJ's for a while now. I've bought them before. Only bummer is that you can't have them customized with 'happy birthday' or whatever.
                  BJ's bakery will do it.. but with their regular icing which isn't kosher.

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    if u pick up a decorator icing from the baking aisle and are willing to pay for it, bjs in college point will write on the cake with that as well

                    1. re: shoelace

                      hmm that's really good to know. thanks!

                    2. re: cheesecake17

                      There's no big deal about Carvel cakes, you can also get them at supermarkets.

                      1. re: MisterBill2

                        I think the thing "cheesecake" was interested in was the ability to have them decorated on the spot. You can't have that done in a supermarket.

                        1. re: queenscook

                          i think that she was also commenting, bc the price difference is huge

                          1. re: shoelace

                            The Carvel cakes are MUCH cheaper at BJ's than at the supermarket.

                            Some supermarkets will decorate the cake for you.. but they usually charge.. and they'll only do it if the bakery isn't busy.

                            1. re: cheesecake17

                              ive also had bad luck with supermarket carvel tasting like its been defrosted then frozen a bunch of times, and the bjs ones adont have that taste

                              1. re: shoelace

                                ooh supermarket ice cream in general can have issues, especially when it's on sale! they buy so much and it sits in the aisles waiting to be loaded into the freezers... and it starts to soften.

                                I bought about 6 containers of Turkey Hill ice cream for a party... only to come home and find every single container freezer burned.

            2. Hmm.. I checked my local BJ's today and also found that American Kosher brand corned beef and pastrami. Has anyone tried it? I had the Meal Mart stuff from Costco and found it to be awful. Not sure that BJ's is as accommodating about returns if I feel the same about their stuff. And at $10 a pound it's not a bad deal but I can get fresh sliced Hebrew National cold cuts for $12/lb at Fairway (glatt is not an issue for me).

              1. My local BJs also has Empire kosher chicken: frozen bone-in chicken breasts and leg quarters.

                3 Replies
                1. re: kashrutnews

                  which bjs do u go to that still have the leg quarters

                  1. re: shoelace

                    try Northeast Florida...good luck!

                    1. re: kashrutnews

                      ;-(

                2. Actually BJ's is located in 15 states, Florida included. As to the products you mentioned most if not all are available at Costco and many in BJs. I find that much depends on the location of the store. From what i understand Costco in New York carries a wide variety of kosher meats and the only kosher meat we have available down here in south Florida are the kosher Empire chicken parts. Yes we do have that kosher pastrami and or corned beef, but since it is a vacuum packed item i wouldnt necessarily refer to it as fresh and it has no taste comparable to what one gets in a terrific New York kosher deli.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: faleentoby

                    Only 3 Costco's currently carry real fresh kosher meat. The ones up here (and BJ's) stopped carrying the bags of frozen Empire chicken a while ago. I have no idea why. We bought the Empire Chicken nuggets in 4-5 pound bags for many years until they stopped carrying them -- they were a staple in our house.

                    The kosher cold cuts that Costco used to carry (Best or Sinai) were excellent and tasted like deli meat. They were vacuum packed. The stuff they have now is just awful. I wonder if the American brand that BJ's has is any better. Not sure that I want to find out unless their return policy is as liberal as Costco.

                    BTW the BJ's frozen hot dogs in a blanket are pretty good. My kids do not like the hot dogs themselves as much as Hebrew National, but the pastry puffs up much nicer than the HN stuff.

                    1. re: MisterBill2

                      I've purchased the American Kosher pastrami and corned beef from BJs and they are actually quite good!

                    2. re: faleentoby

                      BJ's is jewish owned and has less and less kosher products over the years.Which BJ's carry American Kosher--and who owns the brand now???--it used to be from Mass.

                      1. re: joebenjamin

                        Almost all the BJs in the NY, NJ area carry the American Kosher brand pastrami and corned beef

                      2. re: faleentoby

                        BJ's in NC has frozen Empire whole birds and that's about it. Point being, it's not a BJ's vs. Costco thing, it's about what they can sell in a given market. And you're just not going to sell as much kosher in NC as you will in NY.