As you are reading this the 2022 NH Jewish Food Festival will have drawn to a close, but as I am writing, we are still getting orders and wrapping up the pick-up plans. This year was quite the rollercoaster ride. Early sales were steady, but we didn’t experience the initial surge we saw in 2022. The team began laying contingency plans of what we would do if we fell short of our planned sales goal. There was still one chip to be played and none knew the impact of our 10-minute segment on WMUR’s Chronicle. Never in our wildest dreams did we think it would have the impact that we felt after it aired. The first thing that happened was our website crashed from all the traffic. Then we saw a number of items quickly hit critical stock levels. We quickly turned from focusing on how to sell more to how to make more and which products were actually impacted. The cooking team leaders, Sue Needleman and Rhoda goodman quickly sprang into action and identified products and cooking team members to deal with some of the quickly moving items. Barbara Katz adjusted inventories based on these additional quantities and the sales kept rolling. Although we do not have final sales figures it looks like we will have sales that are 12-15% more than last year. Given the present state of the economy, this is a testament to the quality of foods produced and the efforts of the marketing team.
The temple freezers are overflowing awaiting the end of July pick-up process to complete the 2022 Food Festival efforts. There are dozens of people that are deserving of credit for this great success:
- The cooking team leaders, Sue Needleman and Rhoda Goodman who spent tireless hours on the recipes, recruiting, planning and participating in most, if not all, product cooking and baking efforts
- All those who participated in the cooking process and produced hundreds of knishes, over a thousand blintzes, 100 lbs. of rugelach, and 10’s of dozens of other products. You are too many to recognize here, but you know who you are.
- Marsha Ostroff , Karen Rines, Lori Rietsma, Sue Needleman, Rhoda Goodman, Karen Lukeman, Lyn Wulfson, and Jane Bogursky who individually and single-handedly made all of the challahs, chopped liver, hamantaschen, kugels, matzah ball soup, Israeli salad, and chopped herring respectively.
- Barbara Katz who wore many hats including webmaster, marketing chief, and cooking team participant.
The last phase will be completed on July 22—24 when the orders are picked up. Karen and Joe Lukeman will ensure that that process goes smoothly building on the success of last year’s efforts with the help of a new database management program that was conceived and developed by Eytan Wulfson.
The 2022 Food Festival will go into the record books, at least until 2023 when the team will try to beat its own numbers. I think they will need a few more freezers and to start the cooking tomorrow to achieve that goal.
Stu Needleman, Food Festival Committee Chair