Observant doughnut Bunkers join forces to
support imperiled kosher restaurant.
SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN
from the Sun oco gas station they have owned next
door for the last seven years.
For three or four months, we had so many people
ask us if we would make the shop kosher
when it re-opened," Ted Jabbori said. "We
are not Jewish. We're Chaldean, but we've
been in the community a while and know
a lot of the people here."
The Jabboris approached rabbis at the
Vaad Harabonim, the Council of
Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit in
Southfield — of which Rabbi Spolter is a
member — who evaluated the request and the venue.
"Mostly everything there was new," said Rabbis Joseph
Krupnik, Vaad kashrut director, who worked on get-
ting the store kosher-ready with Beryl Broyde, Vaad
— obviously, the meats are not."
With unsealed non-kosher items sold in the store —
such as ham, sausage, bacon and non-kosher cheese —
the Vaad would not certify the store as kosher.
"Different things sell better in different parts of the
country, but everyone is still required to sell the same
things," King said.
This was all a surprise to the store's owners. "All
along, local and middle management representatives
kept telling us this was a good idea," said Lori Jabbori,
store manager. "Because there are other kosher
Dunkin' Donuts in the country and because of the
demographics of our store, they encouraged us."
That there are several kosher Dunkin' Donuts
nationwide, including one that opened in July in
Skokie, Ill., makes the edict more frustrating. The
company now is evaluating their position regarding
the kosher status of the others.
ord that the newest Detroit-area
kosher restaurant may lose its kosher
status after less than a week sent
kashrut-observant Jews into a frenzy
of e-mails, phone calls and protests this week.
Located on Greenfield Road north of 10 Mile, in
the heart of the north Oak Park-Royal Oak
Township Orthodox community, the Dunkin'
Donuts-Baskin Robbins shop opened Aug. 1. But
Supporting One Another
they opened with the knowledge that after Thursday,
With 1,000 Orthodox families in the area, Ted
Aug. 7, they may no longer be certified as kosher.
Jabbori said about 70 percent of his business has been
With limited choices of only six other kosher eater-
coming from those who eat only kosher foods.
ies in town, the new restaurant — the only one to be
open 24 hours and with a drive-through window
— was more than welcome.
"One thing [Detroit] always seemed to be lack-
ing was a place to go and schmooze over a bagel
and coffee or donut and coffee," said Dr. Devorah
Rich of Southfield. "Having the Dunkin' Donuts-
Baskin Robbins stay kosher will mean that people
who care about kashrus can have a coffee and
nosh at an affordable price."
When restaurant owners Ted and Danny
Jabbori of Novi got word from the restaurant's
corporate office they may be required to sell non-
kosher food items, Rich banded together with
others in the Jewish community in an e-mail, tele-
phone and media campaign.
'As soon as we were notified there was a prob-
lem, we began contacting everyone we could, ask-
ing them to show their support," said Rabbi
Reuven Spolter of Young Israel of Oak Park.
"I sent out e-mails with contact information
that were forwarded to other Jewish lists. With so
few kosher places to eat in our town, people
became organized in a powerful way — taking to
their phones and computers — instead of just sit-
ting around and complaining."
Rabbi Spolter and other area rabbis — both
within and outside of Oak Park — mentioned the Flanking Rabbi Joseph Krupnik, one of the restaurant's kashrut supervisors, are owners Ted and Danny Jabbori.
issue on Shabbat in their synagogues.
"We counted on this location," Jabbori said of the
kashrut supervisor. "Everything else inside we made
"People kept coming in to tell us they want us to
that sits within a mile of four of the six
remain kosher," Ted Jabbori said. "Someone even put
Detroit kosher eateries: BKC2Go and
The problem, then, was food items. Although each
a flyer on our front door with small tear-off tabs with
Oak Park; Unique Kosher Carryout in
the phone number for people to call to show their
Royal Oak Township; and Jerusalem Pizza in
owners still are required to carry Dunkin' Donuts and
Southfield. Milk & Honey and Blue Water Grill are
Baskin Robbins stock.
housed inside the Jewish Community Center in West
"There are certain menu items that are required in
all of our stores," said Michelle King, spokesperson for
Knowing that the community was in great favor of
Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants in
Until late last year, the restaurant was a non-kosher
restaurant being kosher, Jabbori said, "I still never
Randolph, Mass., which oversees both the donut and
Dunkin' Donuts, also owned by the Jabbori brothers.
the support of this tight-knit community
Recent changes were supposed to merely include the
fighting to keep us kosher."
sandwiches with meat.
addition of a drive-through window and the sale of
Even with this week's Tuesday night storm and
"The majority of our core items are kosher —
Baskin Robbins products.
power outage in the 40-seat restaurant, there were
including our bagels, cream cheeses, muffins, cookies,
But plans changed when the men were approached
lines of rain-soaked customers waiting for orders to be
doughnuts, coffee products and most ice cream flavors
by kosher-observant Jews in the area who knew them