Fans of Costco’s extensive line of kosher foods now have yet another reason to visit its Waterfront store: a certified in-house kosher bakery.
The bakery, which is certified circle K dairy, was kashered two weeks ago in order to more fully serve the Jewish community in the area, according to Jeff Hepler, manager of the bakery.
“We’re in the middle of a predominantly Jewish community,” Hepler said. “We have lots of Jewish members who are always looking at the baked goods. This was a very good and smart business decision.”
Costco is offering an extensive variety of baked goods for sale, and the products are well priced.
Items available this week include freshly baked pumpkin and apple pies; an assortment of muffins and cookies; danish and croissants; cheesecakes; cinnamon rolls and rugelach. A beautifully decorated red velvet cake is also offered, along with an elegant, rich-looking chocolate cake.
Fanciful sheet cakes, decorated for Thanksgiving, are large enough to serve 48 people. Sheet cakes can also be ordered for special occasions, with 24 hours notice.
While there are 12 other Costco bakeries around the country that are certified kosher, this is the first one in the Pittsburgh area, Hepler said.
The Waterfront Costco is Pittsburgh’s third kosher bakery currently open. Sweet Tammy’s, whose products are all pareve, or dairy-free, opened on Murray Avenue. in December 2008. The Murray Avenue. Giant Eagle converted its bakery to kosher-pareve about six months later.
Although the kosher sweets are plentiful at Costco, don’t expect to find a variety of hechshered breads. While there were kosher dinner rolls available on a recent visit, most other breads were not certified kosher.
Still, Pittsburgh’s kosher community seems to be thrilled to have another bakery option.
“It’s a pleasure,” raved one shopper to another, as she loaded up her cart.
(Toby Tabachnick can be reached at email@example.com.)