You can smell the wonderful food cooking when you walk into the JCC. But does everyone know the family behind the kosher cafe in the front lobby? Meet the Senderowitsch Family....Gladys & Maxi and their 4 daughters: Noga (28), Gal (26), Lee(24) and Malena (15) and Bubbe Olga....otherwise known as Nana's Kitchen.
Nana means mint in Hebrew and is also a common American nickname for Grandmother. But how did this Mediterranean/South American Fusion with a Kosher Dairy Twist Cafe make its start? As with many family businesses, it started with the family's culinary matriarch Olga, Gladys' mother. Olga is a trained pastry chef and lives in Israel.
After a few years of small cooking jobs such as cooking lunches for preschool kids at Temple Shalom and then for the JCC day camp, the family decided to bring Bubbe over for a visit and start Nana's Kitchen. In 2013 Maxi started construction on the first phase of the cafe at the JCC.
As the cafe's business grew the team got serious about working toward their goal of becoming a certified kosher establishment. In Nov 2014 the family got their wish and Nana's Kitchen become certified as a Keystone K kosher dairy kitchen.
Nana's was now able to branch out into synagogues and day schools. Their catering business took off and they family began to host kids cooking classes, opened an outdoor version of the cafe at the JCC pool and started providing lunches, not only for the JCC school and camp, but also for nearby Torah Academy.
This takes the entire family's dedication and luckily they have a large family. Lee was the first daughter to start work at the cafe. She is now a Lead Teacher at the JCC preschool. Gal is most often seen cooking behind the counter with her mother Gladys. Noga helps out for special events and on Sundays and youngest Malena can be seen lending a hand afterschool and during school breaks.
Why open a cafe? It seems like such hard work and long hours. For the Senderowitsch crew it is labor of love. Gladys learned to cook from her mother and she passed that skill on to her daughters. One of Gal's favorite parts is that each time her Bubbe comes for a visit, she adds a handwritten recipe to the family cookbook, passing everything on to the next generation. Nana's Kitchen is about family, love and food. So the next time you smell something delicious... stop by and say hi and maybe get a little nosh.
Nana's Kitchen is now open on Sundays from 11am-5pm. Visit www.nanask.com