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About Us
Alyssa Kaplan was walking with her family near her home when her then four year old son noticed an empty storefront. He asked, “Ima, if you could sell anything in that storefront, what would you sell?” After thinking for just a moment, she replied, “kosher food.”

And that is how KosherGourmetMart.com was born.

Gourmet kosher food has been in Ms. Kaplan’s mind ever since the time she lived in Sharon, MA and ran the Goods and Services Auction for the local Young Israel. After compiling a list of companies selling kosher products, she convinced many of them to donate to the event.

After moving to New Jersey, Ms. Kaplan kept updating that list and hunting for various interesting products at local stores. In addition, on her travels with her husband, she would often bring back interesting kosher products to use herself.

“One time we brought back cake and pastries from France to serve at our Purim Seudah.” Many of the products on her site were those first tried out on her family.

At Kosherfest, the leading kosher trade show, she made contacts with vendors to be featured on her site. Each vendor’s products were chosen because of their product’s uniqueness, but each was for a different reason.

Evelyn Baran of Neshama’ Gourmet Sausages explains why she is working with Ms. Kaplan’s website: “At Neshama, our mission is to create premium quality kosher food and to reach people who can fully appreciate their quality. Where better to sell our sausage, than on a kosher specialty food webite like Koshergourmetmart’s?”

“I saw the Old Style Desserts website,” points out Ms. Kaplan, “and noticed that they had a huge array of cakes, both pareve and dairy, which are suitable for simchos. I visited The Chocolate Dreams Web site and was impressed by the different varieties of chocolates which they offer, ranging from chocolate tefillin for a bar mitzva, to a chocolate sushi set ands items that are perfect for Rosh Hashanna and other yomim tovim. They also are an Israel company and I feel it is imperative that we support Israeli businesses.”

Now companies approach her directly to be on the site. Some have learned about the site in trade newspapers. Other vendors were suggested by friends. Kaplan says, “A friend of mine mentioned Nando’s to me and how wonderful their products were. Their whole line of South African marinades and sauces recently won the 2005 Professional Chefs' Association Gold Seal Award Score Level.

“When I heard that Cabot cheese had made a special “OU” run of their world famous cheddar cheese, I knew they had to be on our site.” Clay Whitney of Cabot Cheese said, “In response to consumers, we are test marketing an “OU” kosher-certified Sharp Cheddar Cheese. The response has been very encouraging, and we are especially grateful for Alyssa's vigorous support through koshergourmetmart.com.”

Koshergourmetmart.com maintains minimal stock in house. Ms. Kaplan is basically a shadchan, matching up kosher consumers and manufacturers. Koshergourmetmart.com sets its prices at exactly what the manufacturer charges on its own website. This is important to the manufacturer and to the consumer. The value of ordering at Koshergourmetmart.com is that you will find a variety of specialty foods in one place without ever paying a premium.

“Not only do we give a percentage of our profits to various organizations at the end of the year,” says Ms. Kaplan, “but we also work with charitable organizations (shuls, and schools) to help them raise money. We provide them with gourmet products close to wholesale cost to create fundraising programs and Mishloach Manos packages. We also put them in touch with companies that have fundraising programs. We have access to a huge array of products that we do not feature on our site.”

Ms. Kaplan determines the acceptability of the kashrus standards of particular items by checking with her local rabbi. She uses only well-accepted national kosher symbols. Next to each product description is the kosher agency name and their symbol. Ms. Kaplan explains, “Many times, I have come across a symbol and not known what it was. By having both the symbol as well as the name of the agency, someone can easily find out more information about that hashgacha. Koshergourmetmart does not endorse any hashgachos and suggests checking with one’s own rabbinic authority about any specific hashgacha over which you have a concern.

Koshergourmetmart also searches for customers seeking a unique ingredient or kosher item not available on her site. Customers have asked for specific ingredients, to which Ms. Kaplan researches and answers as quickly as possible.

Koshergourmetmart also offers a newsletter full of recipes, suggestions for products and discounts available only to newsletter subscribers.

Ms. Kaplan says that another thing she is interested in is encouraging companies to become kosher and to go with reputable agencies. “Many companies I have spoken to are unaware that there is a difference between the various kashrus agencies. They say, ‘If it’s kosher, then it is kosher’. I feel that if a company spends thousands of dollars to become kosher-certified, they should get their money’s worth.” Consumers never seem to tire of finding new kosher products to try so Kosher Gourmet Mart will be needed by kosher consumers for many years to come.
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