Steeped in tradition: New Jersey company helps generations celebrate Passover

Saturday night marks the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It also caps off the busiest time of year for a New Jersey business.

News 12 Staff

Mar 26, 2021, 12:58 PM

Updated 1,210 days ago

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Saturday night marks the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It also caps off the busiest time of year for a New Jersey business.
The Passover Seders may be smaller this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the four cups of wine must still be filled.
“Every single person sitting at the Seder table on both nights is required to drink four cups of wine – or grape juice if you’re a teetotaler or underage,” says Kedem/Royal Wine Executive Vice President of Marketing Jay Buchsbaum.
There is no bigger name in the Kosher grape juice business than Kedem, which has operated since 1948. News 12 New Jersey was given a tour of the company’s bottling plant in Bayonne.
“We can produce between 12,000-15,000 [cases] on a daily basis. We don’t do that all year long, but this time of year is where it’s really rocking,” says Buchsbaum.
And it’s not just grape juice, but Kedem wine, Rashi wine and even champagne.
It all starts at a vineyard in the Finger Lakes. The grapes are then crushed in Marlborough, New York, filtered, and the juice is taken via tanker to Bayonne where it is pumped into holding tanks. It is bottled, capped and then boxed up. The juice is then sent to places like Mexico, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom.
Sister company KAYCO is located across the street, meaning that the leading Kosher food distributors in the United States are located in New Jersey. They produce 5,000 different items.
“We bring in products from Italy. We bring in products from Brooklyn…That’s a seaweed snack from South Korea…macaroons from Pennsylvania,” says chief sales officer Harold Weiss.
Vice President Charles Herzog says that he is always looking for ways to innovate, while also remembering his routes. His family has been making wine for nine generations.
“The Herzog name, we are actually humbled by what it means…we look at it as a responsibility to bring Kosher win and grape juice to the Jewish table,” he says.
As food and beverage distributors, KAYCO and Kedem are deemed essential businesses, and have been open throughout the pandemic.


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