Teitel Brothers

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Teitel Brothers
Food Wholesale and Retail
IndustryGrocery store
Founded1915; 106 years ago (1915)
Products
  • Pasta
  • cheese
  • meats
  • olives
Websitewww.teitelbros.com

Teitel Brothers is a wholesale and retail grocery company specializing in fine Italian imports. Teitel Brothers is located at 2372 Arthur Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City, which serves as the Bronx's "Little Italy." Teitel Brothers was founded in 1915 by Jacob and Morris Teitel, brothers and Jewish-Austrian immigrants. Teitel Brothers is known for its Star of David mosaic at the store's entrance.

History

In 1912, Jacob and Morris Teitel left their home country of Austria and arrived in America through Ellis Island. Unlike most Jewish immigrants who assimilated to Manhattan's Lower East Side, Jacob and Morris Teitel settled in Arthur Avenue, which was a predominately Italian neighborhood. The Teitel brothers were tailors by trade, but they decided to start a new venture that catered to the neighborhood. In 1915, they opened Teitel Brothers. The Teitel family lived in a small apartment above the store and learned to speak Italian before they spoke English. While it was not uncommon to find Jewish merchants on Arthur Avenue, Teitel Brothers is the only remaining store with Jewish roots. In the 1930s, as fascism and antisemitism continued to rise in Europe, the Teitel Brothers' landlord warned them, “If people knew you were Jews, nobody would shop here.” A week later, they installed the Star of David mosaic so everyone who entered the store would know they were Jewish. A family-operated store, Teitel Brothers has been in the same location since 1915.

Current Business

Teitel Brothers sells two thousand products, including prosciutto di parma, parmigiano reggiano, olive oil, aged vinegars, tomato products, nuts, and spices. Today, the store is run by Jacob's son, Gilbert, and his three sons, Michael, Eddie, and Jean, and their childhood friend, Billy Fassbender.

Honors

In 2001, Melissa Clark praised Teitel Brothers's Don Luigi extra virgin olive oil in The New York Times as being “the perfect expression” of Sicilian olives and “a bargain worth seeking out.”[1] After the article was published, Teitels sold out in three days. Additionally, Teitel Brothers has been featured and mentioned in the following The New York Times articles: NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: BELMONT; Amid the Parmesan and Olive Oil, An Unexpected Symbol by Jacqueline S. Gold [2], These 6 Businesses Have Survived the Depression, War, and Now the Pandemic by Hillary Richard [3], and In This Part of the Bronx, Mac Wasn't Big Enough by Dan Barry.[4] On February 27, 2020, NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) recognized Teitel Brothers along with nine other centennial small businesses across the five boroughs for their contributions to local communities. In 2020, SBS also honored Russ & Daughters and Deno's Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. Each business received Mayoral certificates of recognition honoring the legacy and longevity of these institutions. On November 8, 2020, Teitel Brothers was mentioned in the New York Post article, "The Bronx's Little Italy is thriving amid the COVID-19 Crisis."[5]

References

  1. Clark, Melissa (2001-05-09). "FOOD STUFF; Olive Oil That's Hard to Keep the Cap On (Published 2001)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  2. Gold, Jacqueline S. (2004-06-06). "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: BELMONT; Amid the Parmesan and Olive Oil, An Unexpected Symbol (Published 2004)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  3. Richard, Hillary (2020-08-28). "These 6 Businesses Have Survived the Depression, War and Now the Pandemic". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  4. Barry, Dan (2006-05-13). "In This Part of the Bronx, Mac Wasn't Big Enough (Published 2006)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  5. Fickenscher, Lisa (2020-11-08). "The Bronx's Little Italy is thriving amid the COVID-19 crisis". New York Post. Retrieved 2020-11-10.

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