The story of Matam Chofetz Chaim begins in 1917, when Reb Zelig Yehuda Lazar, z”l, immigrated from the Ukraine to the United States with his family.At the time, there were no social laws that protected workers, and business owners demanded that their employees report for work seven days a week, including Shabbos. Zelig’s father could not find work and struggled to support his family. Zelig decided to help his father out and found work in a salami factory in Chicago. He made up for the hours he missed on Shabbos by working on Motzaei Shabbos. He was successful and discerned that there was potential in the field. Shortly after he married, Zelig used his wedding money to open a small butcher shop called Lazar Kosher. Within a short time, the butcher shop attracted a loyal customer base of kosher consumers, among them the city’s rabbanim, who were happy to be able to purchase meat in a store with a mehadrin hechsher. (Until then, kosher meat was sold in butcher shops without a hechsher.)
Reb Zelig was very well liked, and due to his expansive connections, he was able to survive the financial crisis of 1929. For the next ten years he fought against the tax on kosher meat until he won in court, and even received American citizenship as a result of the highly publicized process. In the summer, when everyone traveled to the mountains and work at the butcher shop slowed significantly, Reb Zelig worked on developing salamis and other special products. His goal was to provide kosher, high quality, delicious meat products at a good price. Indeed, the customers showed their approval and his customer base grew from year to year. With time, the small store became a factory for salami and pickled meats. The business had many non-Jewish consumers who enjoyed the unique, high quality products. Reb Zelig passed away in 1969, and left the factory to his son-in-law and right hand, Reb Shimon Talesnik. Reb Shimon made aliyah to Israel three years later, armed with the values that his father-in-law Reb Zelig had imbued in him: honesty and integrity, mehadrin kashrus and the highest quality products.
In Israel, Reb Shimon began working in a kosher meat factory but the quality of the meat and the overall management was not in tune with his values. He decided to partner with the Yerushalmi Matam Chofetz Chaim store, which sold meat products, vegetables and frozen foods with a mehadrin hechsher. Within a short time, Reb Shimon transformed the store into a thriving business of ready to cook and ready to eat meats. Matam Chofetz Chaim became a brand name.To this day, one hundred years after the business began, Reb Shimon is still involved in product development. Matam Chofetz Chaim is managed by his children and grandchildren. The store specializes in meat products that everyone can use to prepare gourmet meals with minimal effort.
Matam Chofetz Chaim – 100 Years of Meat Delicacies that Improve Through the Generations
Matam Chofetz Chaim is kosher certified by Harav Rubin, and is constantly innovating and developing, using secrets of the trade passed down through the family. The company cuts and cleans the meat in a way that leave sonly the nicest parts for cooking and serving, and uses unique seasoning and spice blends, transforming meat, poultry and turkey products into a winning experience in kitchens in Israel and abroad Matam products are available at a number of locations, and at its flagship store, at 30 Agrippas Street in Yerushalayim.Orders can be made by calling 02-6232839 or 02-6249443.for 100 years.