The Gourmet Glatt Fire – Profiles in Benevolence


gourmet-glattFive Towns, NY – Every so often, a story comes along that reminds us of our deeps bonds of brotherhood. The fire that broke out last week in Gourmet Glatt is just such a moving tale. Although we may compete against each other in the marketplace, when difficulties and challenges arise – people also rise. They rise to the occasion and help each other out.

It began at 12:30 last Wednesday night and disrupted the Shabbos shopping of thousands of Five Towns/Far Rockaway residents. A fire had broken out at Gourmet Glatt in Cedarhurst, New York, forcing it to close since last Thursday.

The owners of Gourmet Glatt are certainly businessmen. Yet, their concern, in regard to this fire, was for their customers. How would they get their orders? True, some of them could just drive further and go shopping – but what about those that relied upon Gourmet Glatt to put together their orders?

Gourmet Glatt had once helped out one of their competitors when a terrible act of arson had caused enormous delays. Why not reach out to the new owners of Seasons?

That is exactly what they did. Gourmet Glatt dairy deliveries and produce devileries were to be redirected. Seasons would now handle the load. GG management put up a sign that customers should go to Brachs or Seasons.

In the meantime, they arranged for Gourmet Glatt workers, a dedicated crew, to temporarily work at Seasons. “It was very fortuitous, because both Seasons and Gourmet Glatt use the same payroll company,” remarked Meir Gold of Seasons.

Seasons soon found out that they needed more than workers to handle the tremendous load. Soon they asked Gourmet Glatt for shopping carts and for delivery vans.

A Gourmet Glatt employee remarked, “Seasons is filling the email orders for this time around.”

Parking at both Seasons and Brachs was very tight. “The lot was full, true. We couldn’t control that,” remarked the Seasons manager.

“The real story here,” remarked a local rabbi familiar with what had transpired, “is how two religious Jewish competitors deal with a hardship. These stores help each other out – without regard to ‘trying to latch onto the other’s customer.’ This is where we really see brotherhood and Bain adam l’chaveiro.”

And the customer reaction to the whole affair? “The lines were long!” remarked one Far Rockaway shopper, “thankfully, we are going away for Shabbos, but I did need to get some items for my boys staying at home.”

{Five Towns Jewish Times/ Newscenter}