After a long run of having Kosher sushi for sale at the St. Louis Park Lunds & Byerlys, Monday, Nov. 29 will be the last day that it’s available — for the foreseeable future.
“We’re trying to actively search for a mashgiach to hire so we can change that,” said Ross Huseby, the general manager of the store. Huseby said that they had known that Yale Siegal, who had been the long-time store employee and mashgiach, was going to be retiring. “We’ve known for about 8 weeks that this was a possibility. We started actively looking for someone that we can hire at the store.
“We just don’t really have another option at this point. Because we want to be in the business. It’s just we’re having a hard time finding somebody to help keep us on board.”
The supervision had been done originally by Minnesota Kosher, which was then acquired by the Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC). Much of the work that Rabbi Eli Markowitz does in his role leading the CRC’s regional office is to visit sites that are making kosher foods on a more commercial basis. At the restaurants, Markowitz explained that the CRC allows employees to act as mashgiach; for example, a Torah-observant sous chef at Prime Deli handled the role at that restaurant before it closed for renovation.
The kosher bakery items at Lunds & Byerly’s don’t require the 24/7 supervision that foodservice needs to have during the production of the items. Markowitz said that had to do with the more intrinsic kosher laws for food service, so anytime there is cooking or food preparation, a mashgiach is required to be on site.
Huseby said that the store had opened up its robust kosher section in 2005, and had staff from the local Jewish community that doubled as a mashgiach.
“We’ve had that nice luxury for quite a few years,” Huseby said. “And as time goes on, things change, and some people have retired and moved on. We had a nice situation going and we’ve kind of exhausted that now. We’re hoping that we can get back into that kind of a situation again soon.”