By Kaitlyn Bolton
800 degrees of heat, 78 feet in length, and 2,000 pounds per hour. The two convection ovens in Streit’s Matzo lower east side factory churns out the popular matzo seen on many Jewish Seder tables.
Alan Adler, co-owner of Streit’s factory knows these ovens quite well, in fact his great-grandfather Aaron Streit founded the company back in 1925.
The family business is a privately owned corporation. It is the only family owned Matzo Corporation in The United States and is currently run by 3 cousins.
Adler was closed-mouth about the company’s revenue stating that earnings are private. He did say that the company’s profits are good, they sell everything they make, and “we really can’t make it fast enough”.
Most of Streit’s revenue comes from the matzo demand for Passover. Adler mentioned that not only is Passover is the busiest time of year for Streit’s company but last year “we were running 24 hours a day!”
Passover matzo’s ingredients are very basic. Flour and water are the essentials to making the non-rising bread.
The more tedious end of the Passover matzo is the cleaning process. Every 18 minutes, all of the equipment in the mixing room must be thoroughly cleaned. During this time of year not only is there a staff worker in the mixing room, but a trio of rabbi’s and a few extra workers to make sure the process is done accurately.
Streit’s may dedicate a lot of their focus to matzo for Passover however; other products such as blueberry pancake mix, and chicken noodle soup are produced in the factory. The products vary but the key essential is that “everything is Kosher” said Adler.
The factory where the kosher food is made is very old fashioned and though this is where the walls of four buildings were knocked down to form a flourishing matzo factory, Adler said that they are looking into moving their company to a new location.
The factory is unique in that the convection ovens are a quick means of production however, Adler feels that there are many safety precautions, “watch your head, watch your step” and that moving somewhere new would be more efficient.