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Chabad of Bradenton to host first Kosher Food Festival

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Chanie Bukiet with the Chabad of Bradenton & Lakewood Ranch said she has received dozens of calls from people in the community wondering where they can find kosher food options. 

Bukiet’s answer always is: “The options are limited.”

Chanie Bukiet with the Chabad of Bradenton & Lakewood Ranch says the gourmet kosher popcorn from Popinsanity will be a specialty item at the Kosher Food Festival.
Photo by Liz Ramos

Bukiet said the closest strictly kosher restaurant is in Sarasota. The closest kosher markets are in Wimauma, Sarasota or St. Petersburg. 

So Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch is hosting its first Kosher Food Festival March 3. 

“This year, we wanted to bring events that have to do with mitzvahs, which are good deeds, things that we could connect to God,” Bukiet said. “With all the calls we’ve been getting, we had to do this. I know people are excited about it.”

The Kosher Food Festival will give people, whether they are Jewish or not, the opportunity to learn more about kosher foods, Bukiet said.

Bukiet said the menu will include corned beef or pastrami on rye, falafel, stuffed cabbage, potato knish, chicken matzah ball soup, sourdough challah and babka. 

Bukiet said the menu was created with fan favorites in mind. She said the most popular food items at every Shabbat are sourdough challah and stuffed cabbage, so of course they’ll be on the festival's menu. 

“More people are becoming aware of keeping kosher,” Bukiet said. “A lot of people are moving here, a lot of Jewish people who keep a kosher home.”

A speciality people can order will be the gourmet kosher popcorn from Popinsanity. Another item is the babka, which will be shipped from a bakery in New York.

Although the festival is focused on foods, there also will be arts and crafts, live music from the Klezmer Freylach Band and booths for people to make their own challah bread and hamantaschen pastries. There also will be inflatables for the kids. 

With it being the Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch’s first Kosher Food Festival, Bukiet recommends attendees early because the festival foods are available until supplies last. 

She also recommends purchasing tickets in advance at 

Bukiet said she hopes if vendors can see the high demand for kosher foods in the area, some might consider opening kosher stores and restaurants in the Lakewood Ranch area.



Liz Ramos

Liz Ramos covers education and community for East County. Before moving to Florida, Liz was an education reporter for the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia for two years after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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