What’s a kosher deli doing in the Mormon capital of the world? Salt Lake City’s new Kosher On The Go, with specials ranging from falafel and pita on Sundays to freshly baked Challah on Fridays, is making news in a city where keeping kosher can be very overwhelming.
“Until now we’ve had to cook everything from scratch,” says Rabbi Zippel, Chabad-Lubavitch representative to Salt Lake City. “Eating or ordering out was reserved for trips to Los Angeles,” the closest city with kosher restaurants—over an hour plane trip away.
The Zippels’ presence in Salt Lake City has brought about an increase in kashrut observances. Bite into this: Israel and Camille Lefler, owners of Kosher On The Go—Utah’s first kosher eatery ever—were not observant when they first settled in the city nearly twenty years ago. Now the Leflers are helping to make this great undertaking somewhat less daunting for their fellow Jews. Following their cue, a few local supermarkets recently opened kosher sections so that locals can be less dependent on the one monthly truckload of kosher products shipped in from L.A.
In addition to its local Jewish population, Salt Lake City attracts many tourists throughout the year: skiers from across the country are drawn to Utah in the winter, and the state’s famous national parks like Zion, Bryce, and Canyonlands are hot vacation attractions during the summer season. Ready-made kosher Shabbat take-out meals help accommodate such tourists and provide locals with an alternative to hours of pre- Shabbat cooking.