Expect a wide variety of kosher items at new U. City Costco

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Bill Motchan , Special to the Jewish Light

There are 828 Costco warehouses around the world, including the new University City store. The U. City Costco, which joins 10 other 2022 openings, has some noteworthy Jewish roots. Its location at 8695 Olive Blvd. was Torah Prep School of St. Louis until 2021. The co-founder of Costco was the late Jeff Brotman, a Jewish Seattle attorney. Brotman’s co-founder Jim Sinegal is a protégé of Sol Price, the founder of PriceSmart, who was also Jewish.

For U. City area consumers, there is another Jewish connection in the new store. It will have an ample selection of kosher foods, according to Amy Becker, Costco assistant general merchandise manager.

“We will be carrying the same set of kosher items in the U. City location that we have in Manchester,” Becker said. “We’ll continue to monitor the sales at Manchester, but in talking to some of my associates, we think the majority of our consumers who keep kosher will move over to the new U. City location. We’ll watch things in Manchester and adjust accordingly but we are very aware that there is a strong market for kosher foods in U. City.”

Becker said Costco will not carry fresh kosher meat, but there will be kosher meat products in the freezer section.

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“We’ll have kosher chicken, and our salmon is kosher,” she said. “We have a kosher London broil, and we’ll have Glatt kosher ground beef. We’ll also have kosher wine in the warehouse when we open.”

Costco’s website lists some 63 kosher pantry items and 73 kosher snack items. The store’s house brand, Kirkland, offers more than 60 kosher food items. The Costco management team understands the diverse makeup of U. City, Becker said.

“It’s been very exciting for me to hear the excitement about the new location from the local Jewish community,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had so many Costco members reach out to me about a new location before. Hearing from our members helps us make sure we are providing the items we need for the community.”

There will also be seasonal inventory adjustments at the new store, including kosher tea biscuits in time for Hanukkah. Leading up to Passover, the U. City Costco will stock shmurah matzah and about 20 other items that are kosher for Passover. Those items will be merchandised together.

In addition to the standard Costco lineup of popular goods, the opening of the new store will include some goods not generally available in other warehouses. Becker said these non-food dry goods may include gaming consoles or designer handbags.

Specialty food items in the U. City store will also include Asian foods, in a nod to the Asian demographic in neighborhood.

The U. City Costco will open on Tuesday, Oct. 25. The opening time for all new Costco stores on their first day of business is 8 a.m. (Regular store opening time is 10 a.m.). Becker suggested shoppers arrive early to get the best selection of some of the unique opening day specials.