July 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Josh Chaitovsky Makes Cornbread Crackers With a Conscience

Josh Chaitovsky, of Bergenfield, has taken on a new project, making delicious food that everyone can be proud to snack on. The owner/operator of two kosher restaurants, including Lake Como Pizza, close to Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights, Chaitovsky has, for the last 18 years, spent his summers in the mountains of Pennsylvania. He stills spends a good deal of his summers running the second outpost of Lake Como Pizza near “the real” Lake Como. The kosher pizzeria and sushi restaurant is positioned near many Jewish summer sleepaway camps.

The time he has spent in this quiet region of the country, away from the hustle and bustle, has rubbed off on him. Surrounded by farms and appreciating the fresh air and even fresher ingredients, Chaitovsky began to uniquely value the farmers and landowners he got to know, and saw, firsthand, how hard they worked every day to earn their livings. He also began to understand how farmers struggle to compete when working with large corporations who purchase products worldwide. He wanted to figure out a way to give back to them.

He began thinking of ways he could apply his contacts in the food production industry and leverage his knowledge of the marketplace to give back to family farmers. Conceiving a business idea with colleagues, he described an interest in creating products that would be popular, healthy, natural and filling.

To that end, Chaitovsky is now a co-founder (along with Jeff Moskowitz, Ira Mark and Jeremy Cage) and CEO of Farmer’s Pantry. The company has just debuted its first product, Cornbread Crisps. It’s the first cornbread cracker snack to debut, well, ever. Made with ingredients grown on U.S. family farms, the snacks are available in original, honey and jalapeno flavors.

“We wanted to do well as a business and feel good about what we were doing,” Chaitovsky told The Jewish Link. “Within my group of partners, I realized that there is a strong undertone of connection to country, not political or related to politics, but patriotism. And that aspect of using U.S. farms resonates with us. The backbone of how the country started was with the farming community,” he added.

Chaitovsky noted that in his pizza places he often came into contact with the actual people selling dairy and flour and would ideally like to always buy from them directly, but since he needs items specific to the kosher community such as yoshon flour, “It’s not as easy to always ‘buy American,’” he said. With Farmer’s Pantry, though, using family farms is built into the mission, and Chaitovksy noted also that the company has a policy to contribute profits to charities, including Veterans Farm, Farm Aid and The Family Farm.

Chaitovsky said his company’s products aren’t just patriotic to eat, they offer a novel approach to snacks. “We believe it’s high time for snacks to resolve the trade-off between being wholesome, made from natural ingredients and being delicious.”

The cornbread crisps are nutty and crunchy, with the distinct, toothsome flavor of cornbread, without any oily heaviness. The snacks are baked, not fried, and are surprisingly filling. The OU kosher-certified, pareve products are available in two sizes: six-ounce bags of regular-size crisps, which retail for $3.99, and two-ounce bags of bite-size crisps, which cost $2. They ship 12 per case. Locally, Farmer’s Pantry cornbread crisps are available at numerous locations in the tri-state area including Glatt Express, Cedar Market and many stores in Manhattan. They will soon be available in all Fairway stores. (For many other locations, check the website at http://www.farmerspantry.farm). Farmer’s Pantry cornbread crisps are also available on Amazon.com.

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