'Boutique kosher grocery' opens near Buckingham Palace

Shop on its premises is the latest service offered by Chabad Belgravia for Jews in central London


Chabad Belgravia has opened a “boutique grocery” on its premises, near to Buckingham Palace, offering supporters and visitors the opportunity for some central London kosher shopping.

After a successful soft launch with custom generated through word of mouth, community leader Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson says a promotional drive is about to be unveiled.

With a centre located in an office development, the Chabad has taken advantage of a relaxation in the law since the pandemic permitting retail in office spaces.

Rabbi Kalmenson said the shop, Central Kosher, offered a wide range of items, including challah, herrings, cold cuts, baked goods, pizza and ice cream. It also stocked organic products and high end wines.

It’s the latest development in the 12-year history of the community, serving Jews “from Holland Park to Mayfair and Fulham to Pimlico. We’ve worked to create a Jewish infrastructure in an area where there is little.”

It attracts three-figure attendances to its Shabbat services, has 100 children in its Sunday school, provides activities for 75 teens and 300 young professionals and has hosted speakers ranging from Nancy Spielberg to Natan Sharansky.

“Our philosophy is to create as many access points to Jewish life as possible,” Rabbi Kalmenson said.

The shop is being run by Mendy Ida, who brings to the venture many years of experience within the catering and hotel industries. Open every day except Shabbat, it will be a major addition to those living in the central London area, the rabbi added.

Previously, “the only way they could buy kosher was to travel to north-west London. And we’re offering a very personal service.”

He also hopes that the imminent launch of a website will also generate demand from the tourist market.

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