Save the Deli

Chicago’s Kaufman’s Stimulus Package

Pity poor Hank Paulson.

He let Lehman collapse, took shit for that, then screamed that the U.S. needed massive bailout of AIG, the banks, and the financial sector or else all hell was going to break loose. No oversight, no controls, just give him the money!

They did…shit still broke loose, banks went under, the market tanked, and AIG still found ways to lose billions and pay for junkets.

But now that Obama’s en route to the White House, perhaps the next round of salvation is around the corner. One that affects Main Street, not Wall Street…mom and pop, not the fat cats. And if a solution is coming from the people, than you’d better know it’s coming from the people in Obama’s hometown.

What the hell am I talking about?

Well, I got a great email from my friend Bette Dworkin, owner of her family’s Kaufman’s Bakery and Deli in Skokie, IL. And guess what she’s doing in these tough times? Yep, she’s rolling back prices…a bit of homegrown deli stimulus.

Read on:


With Tough Economic Times but a Decrease in Wheat, Gas and Flour Prices, One of Chicago’s Oldest and Most Famous Bakeries Will Reduce Bread Prices by 15 Percent; Passing Savings on to Customers.

Skokie, IL – November 3, 2008—Kaufman’s Bakery & Delicatessen wants tough economic times to lead to a bread line. However in this case, Co-owner Bette Dworkin hopes the line is outside her establishment and it’s because she has announced that she is reducing the cost of her freshly baked breads, rolls and bagels by 15 percent. It’s Kaufman’s economic stimulus package.
“Times are tough, but the cost of wheat and flour has decreased, so we want to pass this savings on to our customers,” says Dworkin. “We’re in the business to make “bread,” but we also want our clients to find some real values during this downturn in the economy. And besides, freshly baked warm bread and bagels can certainly make a person feel better.”
Kaufman’s Bakery & Delicatessen 15 percent discount is applicable to all bread products including country style white bread, honey whole wheat, French bread, rye, corn rye, black bread, pumpernickel, Russian pumpernickel, Vienna bread, challah, rolls and bagels in a variety of flavors. All of Kaufman’s breads are made on the premises by an 8th generation master baker. None of the breads contain color, preservatives or trans-fats. The discount will continue at least though the end of the year.
Established in 1955, Kaufman’s is a family-owned business that specializes in Eastern European breads and pastries and a deli counter which has become a landmark in the Chicago area. Kaufman’s Bakery & Delicatessen is known for its corned beef, extensive homemade product selection and has received numerous awards over the years, most recently named one of Chicago’s top three delis.
Kaufman’s Bakery & Delicatessen is located at 4905 West Dempster
in Skokie, Il. The phone number is 847.677.9880. For more information, please visit the corporate website at

By the way, this reflects a trend I’m seeing with Jewish delis anywhere. Though some will undoubtedly suffer in these hard times, especially new upstarts or struggling delis, many will actually do better because of the recession. That’s because delis thrive in frugal climates. They’re comforting, warm, consistent restaurants where value and thrift are appreciated. They’re not overly expensive, the quality is high, and those that do cost more tend to give you massive portions. Some deli owners have been telling me that they’re getting larger Christmas catering orders, now that offices have to can their fancy parties. So Kaufman’s move could be a signal that this recession might just be what’ll save the whole damn industry!

Or not…hey, no one really knows what’s going to happen. Take a break where you can get it folks, and if you have to stand in a soup line, pray that it’s matzo ball.

16 Responses to “Chicago’s Kaufman’s Stimulus Package”

  1. Sy Ginsberg Says:

    BETTE DWORKIN for mayor of Skokie. Hey, why not? If Sarah Palin could do it so can Bette!

  2. Anthony Silverbrow Says:

    Pity Paulson. It’s evident from his hands in that photo he’s dreaming of a fat salt beef on rye with mustard

  3. Jordan Dorfman Says:

    Leave it to a quality bakery and deli with a kiddusha kup to make lemonade out of the sour lemons we’ve been handed…Good luck

  4. Iris Says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that Bette, along with her mother, Judy, would be concerned about the well being of their customers. They are both compassionate and caring women. At times like this, the compassion and understanding is welcome and greatly appreciated.

  5. Craig F Says:

    Bette is a terrible person! I know her personally and her reputation is one of anger, from yelling at customers to workers. It is sad that this establishment is even open. Obviously she is cutting prices, she must be low on customers from scamming them and treating them so poorly all these years. Bad behavior catches up with you old Bette!

  6. sara goldstein Says:

    Craig is right on point about Bette. I don’t know who the above people are that are commenting, but I’ve never heard one kind word about Bette. She is known on the North Shore and throughout the Jewish community as an awful shrew! Also, I Highly doubt that the food is even kosher here.

  7. l rubenstein Says:

    Craig and Sara, GO TO THE BAGEL IN SKOKIE. You can get service with a smile there, and it is kosher. Also you could try the kosher place in skokie by the post office on Grosse Pointe Road and Skokie Blvd. They are really nice. I’ve heard similar things about Bette and the staff at Kaufman’s so I avoid that place myself, as do my friends and neighbors. There are too many places to choose from to give these cheap, crabby people business. Clearly they don’t deserve the business of the Jewish community. I also heard Kaufman’s is NOT Kosher.

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