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It may not seem that huge by supercenter standards, but at around 20,000 square feet, a grocery store that debuted this week in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, N.Y., is being touted as a major new addition to the Kosher grocery store landscape in the United States. Beyond the hype, however, what sets the store, named Pomegranate, apart is a focus on gourmet delicacies and organic produce -- leading some industry observers to already dub the format "Kosher Whole Foods."
Pomegranate has upscale offerings such as sushi and homemade cheeses that are sure to attract Kosher and non-Kosher shoppers alike, alongside traditional Jewish fare including gefilte fish and challah bread. The store also provides amenities such as full-time rabbinical supervision and valet parking at its 50-car parking lot.
Pomegranate's founder and owner, Abraham Banda, is a Hasidic Jew who owns another grocery store on Long Island. The Brooklyn Eagle reported that Pomegranate was in development for two years before it opened.
While there are larger Kosher grocery stores, such as the Baltimore area's Seven Mile Market, which offers over 40,000 square feet of selling space, Pomegranate's concentration on high-end -- and often pricey -- foods is considered innovative.
Midwood, Woody Allen's childhood neighborhood, boasts a sizable population of Orthodox Jews, but of late, the numerous mom-and-pop stores that have long catered to the community have been going under as the food business grows ever more consolidated and globalized.