Word of mouth can make or break a business in the Jewish community, and between that buzz and Facebook, Tip Top Kosher Market is off to a roaring start.
The Israeli kosher market at 2211 Savoy Drive, Suite B, in Chamblee was opened this summer by Israelis David Malka and Yehonatan Hazot, who are intent on giving Israelis a taste of home and expanding kosher options for Atlanta’s Orthodox community.
“The community has been over-supportive,” said Malka, who has lived in the United States for 13 years.
He said G-d picked the location on an access road running alongside Interstate 285.
He and his partner decided to open the store in June and by August were up and running. The timing was fortuitous, providing another source for kosher products just before a spike in demand with the influx of Hurricane Irma evacuees.
“For a long time it was my dream to open up a market here and in Israel,” he said. “We saw the Israeli population rising and the Jewish population rising, and we thought it would be a good idea.”
Tip Top Kosher Market carries more than 1,000 items, most of which are Israeli. Shelves are stocked with such popular products as Bamba, Elite Peanut Wafers, Dr. Fischer’s skin and hair care products, Pinuk shampoo and conditioner, and Milky yogurt.
Store manager Micka Lewit said the idea was to give Israelis an outlet for products particular to Israel.
The store will expand with a kosher restaurant featuring an Israeli menu and a chef from Raphael, an upscale restaurant in Jerusalem.
“We want to cater to the Orthodox too and touch all levels of Judaism,” Lewit said. “Many of the items you can’t find anywhere else.”
The store carries unusual items, such as fish pots, water heaters for Shabbat, Bodin pink hairspray and even Pez dispensers. Customers can call in orders to be shipped anywhere in Georgia.
“A lot of the customers come in and say they’re in heaven because these are products they used growing up, especially the candy,” Lewit said.
Rabbi Mark Zimmerman of Congregation Beth Shalom and his wife, Linda, are regular customers because they now have many Israeli products available just miles from their home.
“I have an insane love for Nesher Malt Beer. It’s my favorite nonalcoholic drink, and you can’t get it anywhere,” Rabbi Zimmerman said. “I also love the sesame candy bars and the Mediterranean olives.”
Linda Zimmerman, who does most of the baking in the family, said it’s easier to find kosher baking products, especially for cakes and other sweet treats.
“Other stores don’t have the variety of flavorings or spreads,” she said. “It’s much easier to find items like that here. I make my own challah, cakes and cookies, so it’s wonderful to have this variety. I’ll be doing a lot more experimenting.”