At a kosher specialty market opened in 2013, find a taste of the former Norm’s Place at The Spicy Peach in Atlanta’s Toco Hill neighborhood.
One of the original owners, Norm’s wife, Lydia Schloss, recalled how daughter Tzippy Teller and Jodi Wittenberg had become close friends from their days as co-presidents of Beth Jacob’s Sisterhood. The two young women made a shiddach (match) with Schloss to become entrepreneurs.
In 2019, the store expanded when it took over Alexander’s of Atlanta fine jewelry store’s emptied space next door, almost doubling its size. Today you might be greeted at Spicy Peach by Schloss, whose coleslaw, potato and cucumber salads she once made for her husband’s restaurant, along with grilled panini sandwiches, soups, a new sushi bar and kosher foods not available in local grocery stores.
In a recent email to their customers to make Shabbat and Sukkot “delicious and easy,” an “Out of The Archives” sidebar featured Norm’s Place popular menu items. “My husband Norm insisted to be the one to make my gazpacho soup recipe in the tiny back kitchen,” Schloss said. “This was Norm’s sole contribution as a Spicy Peach cook!”
On a typical Indian summer afternoon during the pandemic, eight tables and multiple chairs are spread apart on the sidewalk in front. A sizeable roof overhang gives some protection on a rainy day.
During a recent visit, the AJT observed young men from the nearby Kollel saying a blessing before they dug into their salad bowl lunch. Vehicles come and go in the front parking area to pick up catered orders.
Schloss told me she has seen children sit with their parents munching on soft ice cream for pre-Shabbos afternoon treats. “Customers follow CDC guidelines for mask wearing when in the store and social distancing both inside and out,” she said.
Unlike Norm’s Place, which served meat such as corned beef and pastrami cooked in special steamers, Spicy Peach only carries dairy or pareve foods. An exception occurs when Israel Rosh, chef and owner of Kosher Kreations, provides home-cooked style menu items for Shabbat and Jewish holiday dinners.
Menus are posted every Thursday on Spicy Peach’s social media with pickups on Thursdays and Fridays. The food is often seasoned with Moroccan flavors, echoing hints of Rosh’s cultural background. The dinners are cooked in Chabad Israeli Center’s kosher- certified kitchen in Brookhaven.
When asked if there were any common threads between Norm’s Place and Spicy Peach, Schloss alluded to the feeling of community that they both shared. Even though they may be 6 feet apart while in the store or eating outdoors, people still enjoy the schmoozing, she said. Both enterprises adhered strictly to the laws of kashruth and are closed for Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
To learn more about Spicy Peach, visit www.thespicypeach.com.