15 Jul Review of the Restaurant Goldbergs Kosher Bakery and Deli
The name of the organization I went to and used to work at is called Goldberg’s Kosher Bakery and Deli. The person I interviewed is named Dan Knudsen and his wife. Dan mainly did all the talking. I felt fortunate to actually get a hold of them because I have not seen them in about two years.
Their new bakery still has the same name, but it is located out in Hillsboro in a business complex. The original Goldberg’s was a fine dining restaurant located at him Lloyd Center Mall in Northeast Portland. The owner’s father died and passed the business down to her daughter and her new husband who worked for her father back in the 60’s. The new owners opened up in Hillsdale and only baked and ran a deli. They were no longer a fine dining restaurant. People would always ask “Is this the same Goldberg’s from Lloyd Center?” The response would be “Same family just different operation.”
After having a bakery out of Hillsdale in the late 70’s they moved about a mile away to a location in Southwest Portland. Their marketing concept was simple; they wanted to have an old fashioned Jewish bakery because the family was Jewish. The décor was photographs of the original family including the father (owner) hanging in the bakery. The bagels served were all hand rolled and actually boiled before being baked. That is clearly the old fashioned way. The sandwiches were all made from the bread baked in the bakery side of the establishment.
On Fridays, certain braided bread called “challa” was baked. I guess it is Jewish tradition to eat this every Friday. That would be the busiest day. It was clear to see who the clientele was for that day of the week. There would be fresh roasted turkey put on the sandwiches which were very popular. It was just like baking a Thanksgiving turkey and putting the meat directly onto a sandwich. People would come from miles around. They were regular customers and once again it was clear who the clientele was. The food was Kosher and Jewish customers can’t eat any other kind of bread and bagels unless it was certified.
There was plenty of competition especially around the holidays. Customers would hunt all around town for the perfect dinner roll. There were many other bakeries around town. These included Elephant’s, Grand Central, Noah’s and Albertson’s bakery department. I think the customers chose Goldberg’s because they have already been going there for many years.
The products were mainly loafs of breads, bagels, sandwiches, and items such as ficcocia bread. There would be an option of having the bread sliced or unsliced. The price was reasonable. It was $2.50 for a loaf of heavy bread. There were always four kinds to chose from wheat, white, light rye, and dark rye. I never did find out how much the other local bakeries charged for their loaves.
The location wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worse. It was located in a small strip mall in a neighborhood. There was a Jewish community center less than half a mile down the street. I knew and so did the owners that that had to bring in extra revenue. The main promotion would be a bagel, cream cheese and a coffee for one dollar. That might have been a losing item for the establishment, but I never did ask. I’m sure if there was a profit involved, it was very much.
One more marketing strategy they had was a sign saying a free bagel and cream cheese if it was your birthday. But that was minor compared to them not having a billboard in front of their building. I think they just didn’t have the money for that.
The male owner who did most of the baking suffered a brain aneurism. He was unable to work and the place had to shut down for about a year and a half. They never did re-open at that location. Instead they re-opened out in Hillsboro, and they are now hidden in a business complex. Their main source of income is having stands out in Portland selling their goods. They just use the business complex to bake their goods and transport them to the stands.
When I recently visited the owners at he new location, I noticed a hand written note on the door saying “We are open again and the tradition continues” I thought that was great. Honestly, I don’t see them expanding much more than that. They are getting old.