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Millers Meats edited 1By MYRON LOVE and BERNIE BELLAN
 There has been a hitch in the delivery of fresh kosher meat in our community. Less than a week after two locations were supposed to begin selling fresh kosher meat, one - Miller’s Meats at Grant and Kenaston – has withdrawn from the program.


 “I said that I wanted to make sure that we are doing everything properly,” says Miller’s owner Mike DeGagne. “We were expecting to begin selling kosher meat on Wednesday, March 15. The day before, Joseph Saadon (the wholesaler from Miami who organized the sale of fresh kosher meat here) came to us to say that we wouldn’t be able to get any product after the holidays.”
 DeGagne basically feels that he was being screwed around. “After all the build-up, not to have any product, I just said that we were done,” he says. “I wish the community well and hope it works out.”
Fresh kosher meat is still available at The Carver’s Knife on Regent Avenue, across from Kildonan Place, and owner Calvin Vaags says he would be happy to email members of the public his price lists. Last week, turkey and chicken and a great many cuts of beef, as well as Bothwell Cheese, Elman’s and Sardo’s products were available. For community members who find going to Regent Avenue too far to travel, The Carver’s Knife is prepared to deliver to your home free of charge for orders of $200 or more. (You can order over the phone.)
 In south Winnipeg, another option is to arrange to have product delivered to the Adas-Yeshurun Herzlia Synagogue for pick-up. (The shul’s Rabbi Yossi Benarroch is responsible for supervision of the fresh kosher meat operation.) It is also possible that a north end delivery location may also be arranged.
 As reported in a previous issue of this paper, the meat is being shipped into Winnipeg from Shefa Meats in Toronto in blocks, already koshered, salted and traibered (wherein major blood vessels, nerves and forbidden fats are removed). The processing is being done at The Carver’s Knife, where the meat is being cut into different pieces which are vacuum packed in sealed boxes with the VKW (Winnipeg kashrut) label.
 “Before each shipment from Shefa arrives,” Rabbi Benarroch explains, “we will be cleaning and sanitizing the facility. We have brand new kosher equipment on site which will be under lock and key in a special cupboard with only the mashgiach having a key.”

The following was part of Bernie Bellan's Short Takes column in the March 28 issue:

The story about fresh kosher meat being for sale at two locations in Winnipeg:The Carver’s Knife in Transcona, and Miller’s Meats in River Heights, (which appears elsewhere on this website) raised as many questions as it did answers. The most oft-heard question was: How were the locations that ended up being named as the retail outlets that would sell fresh kosher meat chosen?
The answer is that  the decision where to sell the meat was made entirely by the entrepreneur whom we named in our March 14 story as having the idea to bring fresh kosher meat to Winnipeg, someone by the name of Yossi Saddon. The Carver’s Knife was a natural location for one of the retail outlets, as that is where the lots of meat that will be shipped from Toronto will arrive – and be cut, all under kosher supervision.
But when it came to Miller’s Meats, well, the reason for that outlet being chosen is not quite as clear. We heard from more than one person who wondered why Miller’s Meats was chosen and not some other outlet. “Why not Desserts Plus? Why not Gunn’s Bakery?” we were asked. (Both those locations are under the supervision of VKW -Winnipeg Kosher.)
We spoke with Yossi Saddon on several occasions to try and find out how he came to decide where fresh kosher meat would be sold. Then, when we found out that Miller’s Meats had opted out of serving as one of the retail locations, we warned him that Winnipeg Jews were bound to put up a fuss about being asked to drive all the way to Transcona if The Carver’s Knife remained the sole outlet where fresh kosher meat could be purchased.
Yossi seemed perplexed. He wondered why there would be any fuss at all  about driving an extra 25 minutes each way to and from Transcona? He said that, if the same situation were to occur in Toronto, no one would think twice about having to spend an extra 25 minutes driving anywhere.
“But this isn’t Toronto,” I tried to explain to Yossi, and you don’t know Winnipeggers. On top of that, many others with whom I spoke voiced disappointment that Desserts Plus wasn’t chosen as the south end location. (Apparently Yossi had considered asking Desserts Plus to serve as the south end retail outlet, but decided against that – for reasons that I am not prepared to divulge.)
As for Gunn’s Bakery – I’m not at all sure what happened there. I happened to see both Fivie and Bernie Gunn when I stopped in there this past week, and they both said that no one had contacted them to sell fresh kosher meat. Later, however, I was told by a reliable source that Gunn’s had indeed  been approached, but had rejected the idea of selling fresh kosher meat. (This story has more twists and turns than a Donald Trump tweet.)
Finally, I asked Elaine Goldstine, CEO of the Jewish Federation, how involved the Federation has been in this whole project? (After all, Elaine has been sending out regular email blasts to members of the community informing them of what’s been happening with fresh kosher meat.)
Elaine was quite emphatic in her response: “We are not driving this and it is not federation’s place to reach out to vendors.”
Still, I suggested to Elaine that the Federation had become quite invested in promoting the sale of fresh kosher meat, not only by breaking the news that fresh kosher meat would be offered for sale at two outlets, but by even going so far as to send out a list of the cuts that would be available.
In my typically cheeky fashion I suggested to Elaine that I could write some copy for advertising for the Federation, along the lines of: “Don’t make us the scapegoat for Miller’s not selling kosher meat, but you can still get your goat at The Carver’s Knife!”
(Goat? Who eats goat in the Jewish community? I wonder.)