…you don’t have to be a New Yorker - nor do you need to be Jewish - to understand and appreciate our family’s story. Every immigrant group has a similar story: first the struggle to survive and then to make its way into the American mainstream. And each community cherishes its own specialty food stores that have helped it retain and celebrate a part of its unique culture. It’s the store you went to with your mother or father, grandmother or grandfather, where you were greeted by the owner with a pat on the head or a pinch on the cheek, where you breathed in an aroma that has become part of your sensory memory, an aroma that you carried into your house with the shopping bags full of goodies that would be shared with your family and extended family on special occasions. Today you search for the smells, the tastes, and the experiences of shopping in these beloved stores. You yearn to recapture the feeling of those shopping trips, when customer, counterman, and product came together in a unique moment. Something other than money and fish changing hands across a counter was going on here. This is what the Russ family has worked so hard to maintain. This is the soul of our store. And this is why I wrote this book.