Kool to be Kosher

Hot Nosh

Ever wonder what people who keep kosher eat when stranded somewhere where the only food available is fast food or items from vending machines? Me neither. I never really thought about this, probably cause I don’t keep kosher, but I guess it would be a problem if I did.

But no more. Finally, there’s now a vending machine that dispenses hot kosher food thanks to Hot Nosh 24/6 (24 hours a day/6 days a week…sabbath observed of course) according to Reveries.com. How’d this come about?

Alan Cohnen was hungry. Last year, he sat in an airport lounge munching on a bag of chips from a vending machine. Around him, people enjoyed pizza, hamburgers, and other noshes unavailable to Cohnen because kosher food could only be found in the vending machine, which meant only potato chips and pretzels. Cohnen, of Teaneck, and his business partner Doron Fetman, of Monsey, N.Y., came up with the idea of a kosher automat and set to work in September to make it a reality. They self-financed and formed Kosher Vending Industries LLC and partnered with KRh Thermal Systems Inc., which owns the patent on the automated system.

They’ll start with 25 machines throughout New Jersey and New York, but hope to expand quickly to locations where kosher items are unavailable. These machines will serve pizza, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, vegetable cutlets, potato knishes, and French fries, at a cost of $3 to $4 per item, but Cohnen hopes to unveil a meat machine if this takes off.

Good idea you say, but is it cool to keep kosher? Well, if you classify Russell Simmons and Phat Farm as cool, then it definitely is cool to keep kosher.

What do the world of hip-hop and kosher vending have in common? A lot, according to Ruby Azrak, former Phat Farm executive and partner to hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, and current producer of House of Dereon, superstar Beyonce’s family brand. Mr. Azrak has invested in the company to help fuel a nationwide expansion. While specific terms were not disclosed, Mr. Azrak confirmed his investment in KVI was “in the millions.” Regarding the unlikely pairing of hip hop culture and instant hot kosher food, Mr. Azrak explains: “Every business I go into targets niche audiences. Hot Nosh 24/6 addresses a void and taps into the kosher food market in a way that no other product does today.”

It’s definitely kool to be kosher.

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3 comments so far

  1. Hillary on

    Whoa. I wonder if this will be successful! I know some people that could really use something like this in Chicago! Did Cohnen put some of the machines in the NJ and NY airports?

  2. cincodemayo1 on

    Yes…apparently the NY and NJ airports will be the first to install the machines. No word if they’ve been placed yet.

  3. Jim Robbins on

    I have done business in the past with the dynamic Alan Cohnen, he’s a brilliant entrepreneur who can sell ice to an Eskimo. He knows how to build companies and ultimately sell them at huge premiums. Does anyone have a direct phone number for him? I would love to invest.


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