I’m often asked how Challah Connection got started. Let me begin with some personal history.
I grew up in a Jewish home where all the holidays were celebrated and my mom cooked delicious Jewish foods. I was surrounded by the flavors of tradition, from tender brisket to fluffy matzo balls to luscious homemade challah. Shortly after my first son was born, I decided to bring the tradition of challah baking into my own home and quickly became hooked on baking challah every Friday. As my kids got older, they would bring their friends to our house on Friday afternoons to watch me bake and to enjoy the aromas and tastes of fresh challah. This was when I really began to experience the power of challah—a flavorful, traditional treat that touches the soul and brings people together no matter what their backgrounds. I saw how challah really does make a connection.
About this time, I realized that my advertising and direct marketing career wasn’t as exciting for me as it had once been. I was looking for something new and, with my passion for challah baking in mind, I explored baking-related projects and even took a production baking class which was great fun. This class showed me that I LOVED the food business and wanted to make feeding people my next career. Serendipitously, I heard about a company called Challah Connection, a local challah delivery service in Fairfield County, CT. The owner was looking to sell and I was hungry for a new opportunity.
In 2002, I purchased this little golden nugget (shall I say crumb?) of a business intending to stick to its original model of local, weekly challah delivery. But a feature on our company in The New York Times changed all that. We were happily inundated with inquiries that were mostly requests for gift baskets. I had never thought of expanding in that direction but we listened to our customers and the rest, as they say, is history.
Starting with kosher baskets to send as shiva and sympathy gifts, and then expanding into theme baskets for Jewish holidays—Purim, Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashana, Sukkot and Hanukkah, and more—we have learned that our customers rely on us as their primary source for Jewish gift giving and kosher gift baskets. They appreciate our explanations of the meanings and symbols behind the foods and our deep knowledge of Jewish traditions.
Now, almost 13 years later, we own the niche of kosher gift giving, offering the largest assortment of kosher gift baskets anywhere and competing with the major gift basket companies. We are proud to be the leading source for Jewish gifts and to share cherished—and delicious—Jewish traditions. And who knows…maybe one day, one of my three sons will leading our mission and I’ll be home baking challah for my grandchildren.
Jane Moritz is Owner and Chief Maven Officer of Challah Connection and Kosher Gift Box, the premiere online purveyors of traditional kosher gifts for Jewish holidays, shiva, Jewish birthday celebrations and all Jewish gift giving occasions. Her companies have been “Creating Kvells Since 2002.” www.challahconnection.com