Tag Archives: challah

Every Home Should Have A Challah

Scott Sharkey feels blessed.

His Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids hair salon — with nearly 100 locations, and dozens more franchises in the works — will soon be the largest of its kind in the world.

Scott Sharkey, in his Westport salon.

The Westport location — right here in his home town — is #1, by both revenue and number of haircuts.

A second business — Hair Genie lice treatment centers — fared less well during the pandemic. “No one got lice when no was touching anyone else,” Sharkey notes.

But as America reopens, it too is coming back,

Now Sharkey has embarked on a third venture: challah.

The braided bread that’s integral to Jewish Shabbat — and is beloved by non-Jews too — may seem a world away from haircuts and lice. But, says Sharkey, the idea germinated for nearly a decade.

He’s long been perplexed that despite Birthright’s inspiring program — the non-profit offers free trips to Israel for Jewish young adults between 18 and 32 — there is no follow-up. “Everyone just goes back to their daily lives,” he says.

Sharkey wanted a way to keep Birthright participants connected to their religious roots.

Meanwhile, last summer — while renting a house in Southampton — he longed for a bit of “home” every Friday night. But there was no way to deliver challah from Westport.

Spurred by friends, and urged on by Westport rabbis, he spent August investigating a challah delivery service.

“It’s easier launching a kids’ franchise than a challah business,” he says. But in March, Every Home Should Have a Challah shipped its first bread.

The idea is for anyone who wants challah to have it on a Friday night. The tie-in with Birthright: Sharkey’s goal is for every traveler to have a challah delivery once a month, until they get married.

Bread is baked in New York on Monday. It’s trucked straight from the oven to Westport. There — at the UPS store opposite Stop & Shop — Sharkey and his crew packs it for overnight or 2nd-day delivery. It’s in customers’ hands on Thursday. And in their mouths on Friday.

Most challah is the traditional egg variety. Occasionally, there are surprise challahs.

Each package also includes black-and-white cookies or rugelach, chocolate gelt, candles, and a “dose of inspiration.”

The shipping box, and its goodies.

Subscriptions can be ordered for 18, 36 or 54 weeks; the delivery address can be changed any time. A one-week trial is also available.

Grandparents are among the most grateful customers. Every Home Should Have a Challah sends packages everywhere in the US — including places like dorm rooms and nursing homes.

Synagogues are customers too. Some send challah to all their congregants.

Sharkey donates a portion of each challah subscription to a charity of the customer’s choice. A dropdown menu offers a dozen or so options, like ADL, Doctors Without Boders, Feeding America, Red Cross, Save the Children, St. Jude’s Hospital, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fund and UJA Federation.

“It’s just bread,” Sharkey says. “But the magic of challah is incredible.”

(For more information, and to order, click here.)

Challah, from Every Home Should Have a Challah.

 

Challah On The Merritt

Lea Kaner leads an active life.

The retired Bi-Cultural Day School teacher returned to her Stamford home a few days ago, after a summer in Israel.

Last night, she got on the Merritt Parkway. She headed to Westport, to celebrate Shabbat with her children — former 2nd Selectman Avi Kaner and Celia Offir — and their families.

But her active life ground to a halt. A multi-car accident closed all northbound lanes for almost 2 hours.

On the front seat was Lea’s freshly baked, homemade challah. (As I said, she is very active.)

Lea Kaner (2nd from left) and her 3 children.

After an hour not moving at all, she got out of her car. Soon, she offered her challah to fellow stranded drivers.

They were a diverse group. Only one woman knew what challah is — and she wasn’t Jewish.

So Lea went into teacher mode. She educated them.

A young man in his 20s who runs a gas station was worried about waking up early this morning. He particularly enjoyed the soothing challah.

Everyone else did too. All said it was delicious.

Eventually Lea made it to Westport. They had a late — but treasured — Sabbath meal.

There was no challah. But the chocolate cake Lea baked — and which remained in her car during the long traffic jam — was wonderful.

Lea Kaner’s chocolate cake.

Local Challah Makes A “Fiddler” Connection. Mazel Tov!

With dozens of delis in New York, finding challah for “Fiddler on the Roof” should be a no-brainer.

But every week, Connecticut’s own Challah Connection shleps 16 kosher loaves to Broadway. That’s 2 per show.

The company was founded in 2002 by Westporter Jane Moritz, as a delivery service for challah only. She soon expanded into kosher gift baskets, including babka, rugelach, black and white cookies, dried fruits, nuts and candies.

Tevye (Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein) enjoys challah from Connecticut.

Tevye (Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein) enjoys challah from Connecticut.

When a “Fiddler” representative was searching for props, Challah Connection stood out. You don’t expect someone to stand on line every night before the show, do you?

But the company’s “connection” with the show runs deeper than deliveries. It’s also the “official nosh partner” of “Fiddler,” providing additional food for special occasions.

Hooking up with the Broadway show has proved to be a great match. Moritz added a page to her website, offering products like Old Country Rolls, Tevye’s Tradition, Golde’s Bakery Gems and the Rich Man Gift Basket.

Oy.

"Tevye's Tradition," from Challah Connection.

“Tevye’s Tradition,” from Challah Connection.