WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Connecticut’s most famous kosher market is preparing to close a victim of intense competition and the wicked winter. But community leaders are rallying to find a rescue plan for West Hartford’s ‘Crown Super Market.’
It started in a Jewish neighborhood in Hartford’s North End in the 1940′s and emigrated to West Hartford along with many residents in the 1960′s. Over three quarters of a century. The ‘Crown’ kosher supermarket has become an institution across the region.
“Always came to this market from when it was on lower Albany Ave. Well I’m 89, that’s okay,” said Charlotte Brick, West Hartford.
“I’ve been coming here forty-six years..we love the ‘Crown.’ I don’t keep kosher but I do come often,” said Faith Parker, West Hartford.
Marc Bokoff who took over the market five years ago from the family that started it says that this winter’s multiple snow days, which saw either no business or forced closings, combined with intense competition from four large chain supermarkets in the area, is more than the bottom line can sustain.
“Terrible it is. In the Jewish word; a ‘shanda,’ it’s not a good thing,” said Parker.
“I am heartsick about the place closing up, I’ve kept a kosher home all of my life,” said Brick.
The top rabbis from the community are meeting Wednesday night to see if a rescue plan can be worked out if some benefactor can help keep the place open.
The owner of the building has already cut the rent.
“There is a tremendous amount of community interest and community support to try to see what might be able to be done to the ‘Crown’ in business,” said Marc Bokoff, Crown Super Market.
This is not just a West Hartford institution. On days prior to the high holidays you’ll find people here from all across the state even out of state it’s that well known.
Bokoff says the ‘Crown’ will continue to make fresh baked goods and sell fresh deli meats as long as they can.