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Kravings answering call for modern kosher carryout in Oak Park

After more than 40 years in business, Quality Kosher Catering is finding a new and different market for its food.

Daniel Kohn, the 28-year-old grandson of the founder, is part of that market -- the young Jewish community with an appetite for updated and creative Kosher food.

With that in mind, Kohn is overseeing the opening of the company's new takeout spot in Oak Park, Kravings. It's located at 25270 Greenfield Road and has a dining room that seats about 25. It has a grill, sushi bar and fully certified Kosher kitchen turning out traditional and contemporary Kosher meals.

Kravings' official grand opening is this week, but after a few weeks of what was supposed to be a soft opening Kohn says it's clearer than ever that the demand for more modern kosher food is high.

"The only bad thing since we've opened is how good the reception has been," says Kohn.

The idea to open Kravings came together about a year ago. Quality Kosher Catering, which started in Southfield in 1968 by Kohn's grandmother, is the exclusive caterer for the Congregation Shaarey Zedek synagogue in Southfield, but the vast majority of its business is outside the temple, across metro Detroit, says Kohn.

"It was a pretty spontaneous idea," he says. "It came up in the last year. It was about five months from the time we decided to do it to when we opened.

"Our business on its own started changing. A lot of clients who knew us and were comfortable with us and liked our food started calling for smaller orders. We were doing that from our catering location, but it was not ideal.

"In conjunction with that, Unique Kosher carryout, which had been around for about 25 years, was closing. The owner approached me and was planning on retiring and was looking to sell his business. So it was a combination of looking to solve a problem we were having and having the opportunity to purchase a great location."

At the same time the demands of local, young Jewish residents who had moved away and seen modern, trendy and different Kosher foods in other cities were looking for the same in metro Detroit.

"The Kosher community has changed a lot and evolved a lot, especially in the last 10 years," Kohn says. "A lot more people, young people, are moving back from Chicago, New York, and demanding something fresh, something more hip."

Sushi, brisket burgers, a quality steak and other grilled foods meet that demand. At the same time, Kravings wants to keep the traditionalists happy by serving Kosher staples.

Source: Daniel Kohn, general manager, Kravings
Writer: Kim North Shine
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