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February 28, 2008 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-02-28

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Milk & Honey to close after Prentice
loses Jewish apartments contract.

Amir Nahir

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illbat Monday, March 10, 2008

Matt Prentice

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February 28 • 2008

he Detroit area's only fine-din-
ing kosher restaurant will close
April 17, just before Passover,
after a six-year run at the Jewish
Community Center in West Bloomfield.
Matt Prentice, owner of a chain
of local restaurants that range from
fine dining to delicatessens, said his
Milk & Honey of West Bloomfield at
the JCC could not be viable without
the contract to prepare food for the
Jewish Apartments & Services' nearby
Hechtman and Meer buildings.
Milk & Honey
is a milchig (dairy
only) restaurant.
Food at Meer and
the two Hechtman
Apartments is
prepared in Meer's
fleishig (meat)
kitchen. Both kitch- Marsha
ens are supervised Goldsmith
by the Southfield-
based Council of
Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit.
The loss of the contract by Matt
Prentice Restaurant Group may also
affect catering operations at the West
Bloomfield JCC. According to JCC
Executive Director Mark Lit, Prentice is
on a month-to-month catering contract
with the JCC and Lit is interviewing
other candidates for the Milk & Honey
space and the catering.
But Lit added that Prentice "is com-

miffed to fulfilling all his contracts" for
private parties at the JCC. "He's been a
mentsh [gentleman]:' Lit said.
Prentice said he opened Milk &
Honey in February 2002 as a service to
the community. "I knew it would never
make money;' he said, although it made
a slight profit for the first time last year.
Parties at Handleman Hall or other
West Bloomfield JCC venues that had a
meat menu were catered from the Meer
kitchen, he said. His contract to provide
food for seniors at Meer and Hechtman
ends May 31. At that point, he said, he
could provide simple meat trays for
events, but not full-service meat meals.
The exception would be an event large
enough to warrant kashering one of his
own facilities.
Prentice said that will happen dur-
ing the JCC Maccabi Games in August,
when 2,500 Jewish teen athletes and
their coaches will be eating lunches at,
or provided through, the JCC.

Following Fleischman
The contract with Jewish Apartments
& Services, which seems to be at the
heart of the change, is re-bid every year.
But ending the contract with Prentice
"wasn't related to cost at all;' said JAS
Executive Director Marsha Goldsmith
She said the agency believes that
having one manager on site in West
Bloomfield will
make things easier
for the agency and
its residents.
The new food
service contract
was awarded to
Morrison Senior
Dining, which
service at Jewish
Apartments &
Services' Meer and Hechtman buildings
before Prentice and currently handles
food service at the adjacent Jewish
Home and Aging Services' Fleischman
Residence and at JAS' Prentis and Teitel
apartments in Oak Park.
There are major differences in the
two campuses, however. Food service
in Oak Park are cafeteria lines. Food
service in West Bloomfield is sit-down,
with wait staff The Oak Park facilities

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