What do you get when you cross kosher meats, non dairy cheese, and the largest buyer of Florida tomatoes in the world? Kosher Subway, that's what.
According to the Jewish Tribune, Ghazi Faddoul, a Lebanese Christian, opened the first kosher Subway in Cleveland in 2006.
Later this month, the Michael-Ann Russel JCC of North Miami will follow suit with a franchise opening in their space. The man responsible is Maurice Lichy, a Cuban Jew who spent 19 years in the "shoe business" before moving into real estate and then food service.
Short Order recently spoke to Maurice about blessing the bread, pastrami sandwiches, and "perhaps thinking about" $6 footlongs.
NT: How are you involved with the JCC?
ML: I'm the exclusive food service caterer at the JCC.
NT: What's that mean?
ML: I'm in charge of any food event or party. Anything that has food involved they have to come see me. The reason being is we wanna maintain everything kosher on the campus.
NT: Where you from?
ML: I'm originally from Cuba, but I was raised in Miami. I got into commercial real estate and finding locations for Subway here in Dade County and I was always a member of the JCC which was never really a place to come and sit down and eat. I realized that converting a Subway to kosher would be very easy and I approached the JCC with the idea. They loved the idea and one thing led to another.
NT: What's your relation gonna be to the store?
NT: When's it opening?
ML: It's probably gonna be Wednesday the 26th of august, soft opening. No hoopla goes along with it , just tryin to get all the kinks out. The grand opening will probably be 30 days later. We'll have free giveaways, tastings, music, and so forth. Being kosher there are also several ceremonies, placing of the mezuzah, blessing of the bread. We'll get the whole jewish community involved.
NT: What's the difference to a regular Subway?
ML: It's the same as a typical subway except the cheese is parv, it's non dairy cheese, we can't mix meat with dairy, it's one of the kosher dietary laws, and also we can't serve ham or bacon or pork, but we have substitutes for that. Instead of bacon we use beef fry it's similar to bacon
The meat comes from kosher butchers and kosher meat suppliers, and we are also required to have a kosher supervisor which is called a meshgia. They insure that all the meats that come in are kosher, and that we are following the kosher dietary laws, from prepping all the way to service.
It's a very similar to the traditional Subway menu but we'll have corned beef and pastrami that you won't find in a traditional Subway. Then we'll of course have chicken, turkey, meatball, etcetera. We'll only use Glatt Kosher - the highest level of kosher for meat.
NT: What about 5 dollar footlongs?
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ML: No 5 dollar footlongs, we're thinking of perhaps working on 6 dollar footlongs. Kosher meat is more expensive, and we have the added cost of the supervisor, and other added expenses for being kosher. Perhaps maybe $6 for tuna or turkey or salami. It's a perhaps it's a maybe.
NT: Is it a tough transition?
ML: Breads and vegetables at Subway are already kosher. The majority of products, even the cookies, are kosher already at Subway. It's an easy transition, just a changing of the meats.