Bowery Boogie reports that Streit’s Matzo Factory, the 90-year-old Lower East Side bakery currently owned and operated by fifth-generation family members, will cease operations as soon as the last orders for Passover are completed. The parcel that has been home to the bakery since 1925 consists of four tenement buildings, and has been purchased by an unidentified real estate developer. Though plans have not yet been announced, it is thought that the site will next become a new construction.
Along with its accompanying retail storefront, Streit’s is the last matzo factory standing on the Lower East Side, which has been all but stripped of its kosher food business, and one of a handful that remain in New York City. Watching its workers tend to the ovens and produce vast sheets of salted and egg-and-onion matzos through the storefront and street-facing windows has been a neighborhood pastime for several decades.
Michael Levine, the director of a documentary called Streit’s Matzo and the American Dream, was on hand in the company’s lunchroom yesterday for the family’s announcement, and reported the news. He reports that the family, which owns the property, made the “agonizing decision” after considering the competition and the climate of the rapidly changing neighborhood. Levine says that the family is looking to reopen somewhere else, but none of the details are certain yet. “Alas, perhaps the only certainty at this time is that any new factory, to be sustainable, will have to be built outside of New York City,” he writes. Here’s his look into the heart of Streit’s, which includes at least one very true boast: “We have the best matzo in the world right here, in New York City. You won’t find that nowhere in the world.”