Kosher store goes bust owing £150,000

A kosher grocer and butcher with stores in north and east London and Hertfordshire has gone into liquidation after 14 years in business. But a new company will be set up to continue trading.

Just Koshered Limited owes around £150,000, according to owner Avi Hotter, who insisted that creditors “will be paid”.

He attributed the financial problems of the business — operating the Just Kosher shops in Borehamwood, Hendon and Ilford — to a highly competitive kosher market.

“It’s a tough business because everyone wants a piece of the pie. The bottom line is, you make a very low margin on kosher food.

“The price of meat is constantly rising. Over the past month, the price of lamb has gone up 30 per cent. But we have to keep our prices the same. People don’t understand if we put our prices up. Once you give 10 per cent off to a charity and another 10 per cent off to a shul, you’re not left with much.”

He further observed that some consumers were no longer supporting local stores: “Take the Kosher Outlet [a discounted kosher supermarket]. They sell meat and groceries and are outdoing kosher shops.”
Although people spent heavily on Passover shopping, “after Pesach it’s dead. The month before [Pesach] is also very quiet because everyone is saving.”

Just Koshered Limited would undergo a “major internal restructure”, Mr Hotter added.

“We have made some redundancies. We’re going to carry on and set up a new company because of logistics.
“If you keep your fixed costs low — like maintenance — then you might just about survive.”

Last updated: 11:01am, May 12 2014