Wheres the challah

As usual, Tracey Thomas went to her local Albertson’s last Friday afternoon to buy her weekly whole-wheat challah.

But there was none to be found.

At first, she thought maybe she had gotten there too late. But this was the second week in a row she couldn’t find the Albertson’s brand challah. Curious, she inquired about the bread at the bakery counter. The answer surprised her. The bakery is no longer kosher, she was told.

The Albertson’s at Fulton and Masonic in San Francisco was the only one in the Bay Area with a kosher bakery. That was until April 30, when it stopped being kosher.

“Everyone was talking about it over the weekend at Beth Sholom,” said Thomas, speaking of the Conservative synagogue where she is a member. “Everyone is very upset.”

The bakery at that Albertson’s had been kosher since 2002. The decision to close it was purely financial, said Quyen Ha, director of public affairs for Albertson’s Northern California division. According to Ha, an evaluation was done before making the decision. The bakery simply was not bringing in enough revenue to make it worthwhile.

“There were not enough customers buying kosher bakery items to support a full kosher bakery,” said Ha. “However we still offer kosher bakery items from outside vendors in the store.”

While Thomas said she knew of people who had e-mailed Albertson’s to complain, Ha said she had not heard of any complaints.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."