Let's Eat

Your safest Pesach

Online supermarkets and delivery services have reduced the risk of this year's shop


Metal plate with matzah or matza and Passover Haggadah on a vintage wood background presented as a Passover seder feast or meal with copy space. Translation: Passover Haggadah

Almost inconceivably, after one pandemic-ruined Pesach, it looks like we’ll be sharing smaller seders again. The biblical plagues may have passed over, but our modern day version — Covid-19 —  is still with us. And although vaccinations are rolling out at super speedy pace, many  of us will be cautious about even venturing out to make our Pesach purchases.
The good news is — you don’t need to. Online ordering means Pesach staples can be brought to your door. Neither mask nor hand sanitiser needed and, in some cases, there is no delivery charge. All at the click of a keyboard.  
My first port of call would be Sabeny, an online-only kosher supermarket, with warehousing in North London and a list of close to 1,000 Pesach essentials. It’s not a new company, but has flourished during lockdown. 
“We’ve seen a fivefold growth in the last year and 25 per cent increase month on month,” says marketing manager Jessica Millett, who explains the service has been already been a saviour for kashrut compliant customers in locations as far flung as St Ives and Kilmarnock. 
“We’ve sent orders all over the country: herring and fishballs to Leicester; potato salad to Peterborough; Chevington cheese and kichels to Devon and Rakusen’s matzah to Aberdeenshire.” 
The online access has been huge for those living away from main communities. “Our nearest kosher shop is in Glasgow, which is approximately a four-hour drive, each way. A food shop takes a whole day. We have no other access to kosher bakery products like challah, bagels and babka,” says Sarah Frankel from Aberdeenshire. 
For Lisa Green, Sabeny has been a lifesaver over the past year: “Living in Oadby, Leicestershire, it is quite difficult to get kosher food, although the Orthodox rabbi in Leicester does help his community. Sabeny has really helped get the specialised foods like different varieties of herrings, frozen Hermolis meals and fish balls. Shopping online has saved me travelling in the pandemic.” 
Sabeny will be opening an entire virtual store for Pesach. “Planning it has been a huge operation. We wanted to be sure we’d be ready with sufficient storage space and staff to fulfil all of our orders accurately and on time. We’re ready though, with a lengthy list of exciting products which we’ll launch on February 28,” says Millett, who advises booking early to secure a slot. 
The virtual aisles contain everything from matzah, cookies and baking essentials to yoghurts, cheese and milk; drinks, spices and spreads; fish, meats and tinned goods. There are also baby foods, purées, cooking sauces and crisps. 
Some of the pesachdik products on offer are new to the UK this year, including a range of gorgeous roasted nut butters from Gefen; a vast catalogue of sweet treats  — including orange and lemon crispy cookies from Gefen and Liebers’ animal cookies; plus an avocado oil spray for those looking to keep things a bit more healthy. “Even if seders are restricted, we want to make it special this year,” says Millett. She explains that the site has been designed so you can easily shop for your family too, if they are shielding or isolating: “You can check out your trolley, and then add the same list to a second address, or tweak it to fit their needs.” 
There are free delivery for orders over £80 all year, but for the Pesach shop, customers based in London and Hertfordshire will pay no charge for a Sunday or Wednesday slot. Deliveries booked for other days (or from further afield) will cost £9.99. Outside London and Hertfordshire free delivery is available on orders over £80. 
Sabeny isn’t the only retailer offering to bring food to your door. Among the stores offering deliveries is butcher, Louis Mann. Owner Sarah Mann- Yeager says they also offer free delivery to London and Hertfordshire addresses. “You’ll need to call us or send an email, to select from our range of ready-to cook dishes. Our menu includes spatchcocked chickens with a choice of marinades or rubs. We have ‘lazy lamb’ which is a shoulder coated in herbs, spices, lemon, garlic and olive oil that you just need to slow cook for a few hours. We also have rotisserie chickens and meat platters for two to however many people we’ll be allowed to share our seders with.” 
Mann-Yeager says they need at least 48 hours’ notice (she advises booking as early as possible for Pesach) and that delivery is free for orders in excess of £30. 
Corney & Co has been delivering fish to its customers throughout the pandemic. “We were lucky as our suppliers stayed open,” explains Dominic Corney. “We need a good 24 hours’ notice, but it’s worth ordering ahead for Pesach, as demand will be high.”
If you’re menu planning, Corney says Pesach is a good time for fish. “All the English fish — cod, haddock, plaice — are in season and plentiful. Orders can also be made via email or phone.” 
St John’s Wood-based grocery store, Panzer’s, has also launched itself into the Pesach market. A catalogue of more than 250 products including seven types of matzah, jams, baking products and store cupboard essentials is available on its website. Delivery will be £5 locally and £7.50 nationally.;;;

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive