Streit’s Customers Bid Farewell

By Marissa Brostoff

Published April 17, 2008, issue of April 25, 2008.

The Streit’s Matzo factory, a landmark on Manhattan’s Lower East Side since it opened in 1925, is gearing up to leave for more affordable climes. To commemorate the factory’s place in the neighborhood, casting director Mikie Heilbrun, whose great-grandfather, Aron, founded Streit’s and whose cousins run it today, is making a documentary film incorporating the memories of some old — and new — Streit’s customers. On Sunday, April 13, the Forward visited the factory and spoke with a few of them.

Asked what he finds so divine about the cake, Sayegh answered humbly, “I love chocolate chips.”

As an adult, Chesner-Kass makes the trek from the Bayside neighborhood of Queens to do her Passover shopping at Streit’s. She brought her children when they were young, and now her grandchildren come along. When her 11-year-old grandson visited the store, Chesner-Kass recalled, he pulled items off the shelf and dug in right in front of the factory’s obliging owners. “He was doing the same thing his great-grandfather had done — getting something for free,” she said with a laugh.

Meyers and Winston have befriended many of the factory’s employees, including a rabbi who oversees kashrut at Streit’s. “The rabbi told me, ‘You should put that dog in show business,’” Meyers said, chuckling. “I said, ‘I would, but he wants to be a doctor.’”

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