Volover Rov Statement as to Why He Removed His Hashgacha from 15th Avenue Food Corp. (Korn’s, Kohen’s)


bakery-products[Hebrew letter link and OK audio links below.]

The following is based solely on a report of a mashgiach of the Volover Rov. Nothing written below is conjecture or Matzav.com’s own observations. It is all based on statements released by and on behalf of the Volover Rov:

As reported last month, Rav Nochum Ephraim Teitelbaum, the Volover Rov of Boro Park, removed his hashgacha from 15th Avenue Food Corp., which produces baked products under a number of labels. Following the removal of the hashgacha, many questions were raised as to why the move was made by the Volover Rov. Matzav.com has received information from the mashgiach of the Volover Rov explaining the circumstances surrounding the Volover Rov’s decision.

As of this writing and as we had reported, the OK has kept its supervision of the company and has been joined by the Hisachdus Harbbonim.

While it is generally not the Volover Rov’s manner to discuss the goings-on behind the scenes in his kashrus supervision, in this case, because of the countless questions being raised, he has allowed his mashgiach to clarify what happened.

15tn Avenue Food Corp, located on 15th Avenue in Boro Park Brooklyn, was under the hashgacha of the Volover Rov for approximately 20 years. The company, as mentioned, produces various items under a number of labels, including Korn’s, Kohen’s and Stern’s. All these items are produced by 15th Avenue Food Corp. and contained labels with one of the aforementioned names, under the supervision of the Volover Rov.

This company also sold their baked items to a business in Monsey which sells items under two names, Laromme and Barons. 15th Avenue Food Corp. gave permission for the Volover Rov’s name to be printed on those item labels as well, despite the fact that the Volover Rov was never asked or notified about this.

This seller has stores in various locales including Pathmark Monsey, Pathmark Teaneck, Greenvale, NY, Chicago, Maryland, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Florida, Seattle, Las Vegas, Detroit, West Hartford, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, and Manchester. In all these places, various baked items are sold with different hashgachos, depending on the place. Using the Volover Rov’s name was in direct violation of his  policy, as he is makpid that his name should not be used on a label that has various hashgachos, in order to prevent confusion amongst buyers.

When the Volover Rov learned that his name was being used on the new labels without his approval, he approached the owners of 15th Avenue Food Corp. The Rov was told by the owners unequivocally that all these items were being baked in their bakery, and that not one item leaves the bakery without the label being affixed by 15th Avenue Food Corp. They also said that, like their other labels, no one else has access to the Laromme and Barons labels other than them.

On Sunday, Rosh Chodesh Sivan, May 24, the Volover Rov, together with one of his mashgichim, visited the Pathmark store in Monsey, which has a section for the Laromme bakery. Over there, the Rov found numerous “Barons” labels with his hashgacha printed on them. The Rov was astounded. They also observed that baking was taking place there without the presence of a Yid. (The goy who noticed them quickly ran to call a Yid, who arrived as they were leaving.) The Rov took about 2,000 labels that contained his name and hashgacha without his consent.

This incident contradicted all that the Rov had been told by 15th Avenue Food Corp. It brought to light that the guarantees made by the owners of 15th Avenue Food Corp. to the Rov were worthless and that their other labels such as Stern’s, Korn’s and Kohen’s were now questionable too.

On Monday, May 25, the Volover Rov’s mashgiach once again visited the Pathmark store in Monsey. This time, he also found goyim conducting baking without the presence of a Yid. One of the goyim stated that that day was a holiday for them (Memorial Day) and therefore no Yid was working there that day. (It is not clear what that was supposed to mean.) The mashgiach also found large boxes of cakes from “Stern’s” without any seal, and the goyim were affixing labels to those products without the supervision of a Yid.

In other instances, in addition to what has been discussed so far, the company flatly ignored the mashgichim. In one case, after it was found that there was a problem of insect infestation, the mashgiach took certain boxes of the problematic item, stated that they may not be used, and taped up the boxes stating as much. When the mashgiach visited a short time later, he found that two of the confiscated boxes were missing. When the mashgiach asked an employee what had happened to the boxes, he was yelled at in front of all the workers, he was verbally denigrated and told to be quiet, and only after speaking to someone else was the matter resolved.

After the Volover Rov removed his hashgacha and he was questioned, he responded that his name and his label are not hefker, no one gave anyone reshus to place his names on these labels, and they deceived him.

The manager of a bakery section in a large store in Lakewood testified on Erev Shavuos this year that every week, Monday thru Thursday, he received a delivery, from the main distributor in Lakewood, bread and cake items, without any label or hashgacha, and that the distributor gave him labels with the Volover Rov’s hashgacha to place on the bags and boxes. Similarly, on Tuesday of Parshas Beha’aaloscha, a yungerman in Lakewood testified that for at least two years, labels with the Volover Rov’s name was “hefker” in these stores. The Volover Rov reiterated what he has always said: “If it leaves the doors of the bakery without the label, it is out of the responsibility [of my supervision].”

The owners of 15th Avenue Food Corp., according to the mashgiach, knew good and well that they were violating the Volover Rov’s strict rules, and utilized his name and hashgacha on whichever items suited their fancy, without the Rov’s permission or consent.

A resident of Kiryas Yoel testified that on Wednesday of Parshas Beha’aloscha, he found, in a Kiryas Yoel store, a box of cheese cakes without any name or label, and after questioning, he discovered that these items were sent by “Stern’s” without any label or seal at all. The storeowner was told upon delivery that he himself should print the “Stern’s” labels and place them on the items. The store manager, however, took the items and threw them directly into the garbage.

{Important: Note that the above discussion does not apply to Korn’s retail stores which have an independent bakery and sell items only from the 16th Avenue Korn’s bakery.}

To view the Hebrew letter from the Volover Rov’s mashgiach, click here.

The OK’s position: At the request of hundreds of readers, Matzav.com is reposting the audio of an interview conducted last month by Zev Brenner with Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka, a Rabbinic Coordinator with OK Kashrus Laboratories, regarding 15th Avenue Food Corp, which we had posted previously. The interview was conducted prior to the recent statements by the Volover Rov’s mashgiach. To listen, click below.

{Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. the implication of the self serving article is that the other certifying agencies are not as careful as the Volover group

    is this in fact true ??

    any comments from other agencies ???

  2. In all fairness shouldn”t the Stern company been given a chance to comment on these accusations- it does not state anywhere in the above that the company was called to comment- Lo Chen Yeoseh!

  3. It would probably be best to hear what the other hashgochos have to say on this before printing such a negative article.

    In essence this is saying not use Korn’s Bakery products outside of Korn’s bakery.

  4. If true, this is very troubling! Why are the OK not concerned about the breach in kashrus? Also, what does it say about the CRC running to get a few dollars at the expense of what happened?!

  5. Could we now hear from the other Kasghrus organizations that give their hashgochas to this company? The allegations/statements made by the Volover Rov would seem to have a bearing on the company’s good faith all round, not just on the issue of adhering to the standards set by the Volover Rov. I may not feel I need the hechsher of the Volover Rov but I do want to know that the company is straight.

  6. Thanks for the article.
    Now, a few questions.
    1. Were there any Halachic violations. (of course violating a hashgachas procedures are enough to warrant it’s removal, the question however is whether it is even worse than that).
    2. What is the OTHER side of the story.
    3. If the allegations are true. Are other Hashgachas just as strict in these matters or not.
    4. The million dollar question, please name me 10 hashgacha rules pertaining to 3 different hashgochas. Why can’t anyone!?! Don’t we deserve to know??

  7. I was at a local non-Jewish store selling kosher (don’t remember company) bakery items and I noticed that the packages had a simple piece of scotch tape keeping them shut. Is that enough? I bought a different company which actually had the label over the opening. Now, I’m wondering when that was even put on!!

  8. I don’t think anyone here would really believe that this is the reason that the Volover “removed” his Hashgocho. This is sour grapes. Remember, this is big business….

  9. The reason you are not hearing the other side of this story is because I don’t think that Korn’s feels the need to sling Lashon Harah back. This is the worst side of the hashgacha business. Money & polotics…Yuk!

  10. You guys all miss the boat.

    The Volover Rov is a tzaddik and an ehrliche Yid. If he says what he says, then it is true. And therefore I thank Matzav for publicizing it. We are not dealing here with some young neophyte mashgiach or someone ignorant. We are dealing with a respected, well established mashgiach who released a statement which we were privileged to read here. WHy shouldn’t we believe it? Why cast aspersions?

    Get with the program. It happened, it is true, and stop being in denial.

  11. Here’s the reason not to believe it….And if u do believe it you might want to rethink eating anything under his Hashgacha. It is well known that every one of those brands mentioned is produced, packaged and labeled at the 15 Ave. plant. How in heavens name did the Choshuver Rav Hamachshir not notice his own name on the labels????? Being a mashgiach, I can tell you that it’s one of the first things you go through when inspecting. All the labels! It took him two years to notice his own name on thousands of packages being labeled at the plant that he was giving a hechsher to? Wow. It seems that the OK knew very well that the Hashgachas were on the other names too. Could it be that they should be PAYING more MONEY to have the name on another label? Maybe. What does that have to do with Kashrus except to tell us that the Hashgacha had no idea what was going on. Thank g-d they changed the Hashgacha!!

  12. Mashgiach Moshe it is obvious that you wrote teh Anonymous comments too so maybe you have something to do with company that you are denying the truth or maybe you have something against the Volover but the bottomline is that if you do your research and speak to those in the know they will tell you that the company has been plkaying games and not following strict kashrus protocol as I myself have heard from two supermarket owners who confirmed exactkly what I read here about the company telling the stores to put stickers on themselves.
    As to why it took 2 years to clamp down on this I don’t know but it unfortunately seems to be very very true and indeed aas one poster wrote it is very troubling

  13. We don’t understand why no one is addressing a very serious issue re: La Romme’s Hashgocha.

    Rabbi Bresslauer with encouragement of Rabbi Schlesinger certifies the La Romme bakery at PathMark in Monsey, NY.

    Can one believe that Rabbi Bresslauer would allow only goyim are baking, packaging, labeling baked goods at that location?

    In addition, would Rabb Bresslauer allow on memorial day not to have a mashgiach or a Jew present?

    In addition, Would Rabbi Bresslauer allow baked goods coming into La Romme (Pathmark) unlabeled?

  14. I really don’t understand many of you.
    You eat Gefen products, right?
    Sure you do.
    Well, it’s under the Volover.
    You eat numerous other products under his hashgacha. So you’ve trusted him all these years. Now he makes a statement explaining why he removed his hashgacha from a store and you say it’s not true? Please. That’s hypocritocal at best.
    Sure, you have questions? That;s fine. Reb Yudel Shain raises some good questions. We can have questions and try to find out the answers. We can ask about Pathmark in Monsey, and ask about 15th Avenue, and ask about many things. But don;t say that what the Volover Rov or his mashgiach said is not true when you ahev been relying on them and STILL rely on them to this second.
    Just bec. you may not understand something or have all the answers doesn’t suddenly disqualify what someone, a respected mashgiach who you yourself rely on, says. It is unbelievable what I have been reading and hearing. and as for those who are concerned about “lashon hara,” i have asked a well known posek about this, and he said that if the rav hamachshir is a respected individual and he has released a statement letoeles harabim, there is ABSOLUTELY NO question of lashon hara in such a case, and it may even be a MITZVAH to be mefarseim.
    so all those who are suddenly “holier than thou” are simply misguided. i can;t even believe that this has to be written, it is clear as day.
    I look forward to learning more about what happened, but I take every word of the Volover Rov at face value, which is why I rely on his hasgacha for the food I am eating right now.

  15. U know, I have to agree with Mashgiach Moish. Remember, that the Volover is saying NOW that he had a rule not to put labels on packages later. However, from what we’ve all heard, these labels WERE being handled by frum yidden in frum stores. Yes, they should tighten the ship but I would gladly eat there before I eat from a Kashrus Hashgacha that takes 2 years to see something going on under their noses. With all due respect, THAT is very troubling in my eyes. Labeling products that are delivered in bulk is something that has been going on forever and is now being addressed. And that is a good thing. However, it is mostly to prevent what might go on in some half kosher supermarket in the Mid West. Not at all what is being discussed in this situation. Not seeing your own name on labels for two years tells me that a check was being picked up without much inspection. I am sorry to say that. Most of all, really, enough machlokes, lashon harah and shtusim has been said. Let’s be mispallel for the yungerman who is very ill with the swine flu. You’ll get alot more zechusim than hocking about this nonsense.

  16. Just curious…why did the Volover Rav never in all his years of Hashgacha there ever voice any concern at all? Why would this all come up when there is a business disagreement? Has anyone else noticed that this “letter” was written by some anonymous “mashgiach”? Seems a bit odd….

  17. To FrumYid, Honestly, I think I’ll look for a different Hashgacha for now on! I have spoken with some insiders in this hashgachs thing and they really have funny feelings about what is going on. Just seems like a mud fight.

  18. The Volover here admits that there has been a problem for two years that he didn’t know of (implying that his hashgocho was not very effective). He writes that he doesn’t allow multiple hashgochos as this confuses people, but the OK has been also on it for twenty years!
    Therefore, if you believe the Volover, he’s not reliable as he himself admits that he doesn’t have a very effective hashgocho and is unable to figure out what’s going on at th efirm on which he is giving hashgocho! If you don’t believe him, again you can’t really trust him!

  19. I won’t argue about the volover rav being an upstanding person but I have a few questions. 1. I have a store in lakewood and for YEARS have been getting rolls of labels to fix on certain products that for some procedural reason came without the labels affixed. Question: how in the world did the rav or the mashgiach allow the product to leave without a sticker and how in the world did they not know that sterns was shipping rolls of labels along with the deliveries? Obviously, if it is against the rules of the hashgocha, then someone messed up. I have been dealing with the sterns for years and I believe that there is something else hidden here, probably either money or politics or both. Also, I hate when you post yudels Shains letters. They are so cynical.

  20. I am trying to understand what the big deal is if a frum person is putting labels on products that come in. What is the problem for the consumer?? If it’s a frum person? 99% of people out there are putting their hands (hopefully sanitary!!) into loose bins of rolls and danishes on a daily basis and putting them into bags having absolutely NO marking on them obviously! People seem to be ok with that! Why would this be worse if a frum person is telling you what you are eating? Many times on the bins with these totally loose products it will tell say on the bin what it is and under whose hashgacha it is. That is fine? It can’t be switched? Ever seen the bins in candy stores? I would venture to say that candy and the likes would have lots more issues than a slice of bread. And everyone seems fine just taking it. All the time. why this vendetta here? Am I missing something?

  21. I asked the Volover if I could speak to him to clarify the facts re: korn’s etc. The Volover Ruv answered “I don’t have time”. I hope someday he’ll have time to clarify his side of the story.

  22. its very simple the volover was promised that the labels were being put on before it leaves the store wich was a fat lie from korns as the mashgiach and the volove walked out of pathmark with 2000 labels. what went on in the bakery in pathmark is not the voloves concern i guess as people said earlier its under rav breslauers hashgacha (how the goyim were baking there without a yid present is astounding) he just wanted to make sure his labels are not just stickers

  23. It’s as if you guys don’t read. The Laroome labels were not originally done in Boro Park. Only in Monsey. The Volover Rov Shlit’a didn’t need to be aware that someone is creating a label with a brand name using his name as the Rav Hamachshir. This was a discovery!!! Get it?!

  24. yasher koach matzav for keeping us informed and for printing what the volover said. i don’t know why people are so upset. if they don;t like what they read then call the volover and speak to him like many have done or call 15th avenue bakery and you’ll see what they say
    it is important to hear what the mashgiach said so thank you

  25. the writer forgot that usuly on memorial day its the goy who takes off not the jew just one hole in a “very well” written letter

  26. I think the Velover Rov should take a drive to Lily Popcorn Company out in Long Island with his Mashgiach were the owner is a non religious yid who hates frum yidden when Blums do there private label run.