Why Latkes on Chanukah? 

The word latke is of  Yiddish origin and means something along the lines of  “little oily thing.”
Potatoes and oil are the perfect food for Chanukah as we celebrate the holiday of miracles.
 
The tuber of the potato grows and takes shape in darkness and when harvested from the earth provides a reliable staple food full of vitamins and minerals.
When the Maccabees fought against the Syrian/Greek Empire during the time of the second temple, one brave woman, Yehudit, rose up out of the darkness.
In a daring act of faith she beheaded the evil Greek governor Holofernes and set the stage for a surprise military victory for the Jews in her village.
 
The oil, we know comes after the destruction of the temple;  when a small amount meant to last one day, lasted 8 days enabling the Jews to light the menorah.
 
In true Jewish style we combined the miracles of Chanukah; Yehudith and oil into something we can eat – The Potato Latke…
 
This year when we light candles and enjoy the holiday of Light and miracles; lets also enjoy scrumptious potato latkes with a modern flare…
This Chanukah Feigels has some decadently delicious treats for you…
Look out for our in-store Chanukah menu coming out this week.

So Much More Than A Deli

As the Feigel’s Story Continues, It Gets Hotter in the Kitchen…

To quickly recap; as Yeoville became unsafer and the community moved away, so Feigels moved too.

In 1995 we moved to the Bramley Shopping Centre and traded there for over 10 years; alongside Manny’s Locksmith and Shaun at The Optical Studio.

Increasing demographic changes in the area saw that Feigels no longer suited the clientelle so in 2007 we moved to the Lyndhurst Discount Centre.

Feigels has grown on demand. Supplying some of the bigger supermarkets, increasing competition in the market and the daunting demands of the Tech Age put more pressure on Patsy and Jos.

It’s truly a testament of human nature how these two  incredible souls; without any formal business training or tertiary education and with the support of Jess in the office, Avraham (the Mashgiach) and their kitchen staff, were able to grow the little deli.

In 2011, a soul larger than life joined the company and Feigels grew.
Alan Bender; executive chef, loved member of his community and adored by food lovers, moved effortlessy into our bustling kitchen.

Alan’s wealth of knowledge, experience and passion for feeding people found a special place in the heart of our kitchen and with our 30+ staff. Alan helped Feigels expand into catering, corporate dining, simchas big and small, brochas, plated meals, travel groups, tours and more.

With Hashem’s grace, Jos and Patsy have built more than a deli; they created a vehicle. The Feigels vehicle has given souls from all walks of life a space to find themselves, to find employ, to grow and learn and provide and make friends and find a sense of belonging and purpose.

Jos and Patsy are phenomenal. After 50 years they are still committed, working hard, dedicated and visionary. They are embracing the changes slowly and collaborating with Neil and I as we slowly implement systems and structures to support them, ease their work load and improve customer shopping and eating experience.

Neil and I are hugely grateful for the opportunity they have given us and the trust they afford us.

Exciting developments are on the horizon…

What Is It About Food?

Amidst all the Chagim we had Feigel’s Yartzheit; 37 years since her passing.

Patsy, Jos and Solly sponsored Sukkah Brochas at their respective Shuls.
This was an opportunity for us connect to the Light the late Feigel brought to this world during her lifetime; we light a candle and eat a meal together.

Feigel was a strong willed woman with good attributes and good strong values. She stood by her family and she stood by her staff. She was a role model in her own Yiddisha right and she gifted this community with Feigels Kosher Deli.

I was only 8 when my Bobba died and my most vivid memories of her were around food in her Bellvue flat.
She made the most delicious apple sauce and we would dip cold roast chicken in the apple sauce and eat and laugh together. She also had this old pasta roller and we would make lokshen. Now we use a bigger version to make kichel.

Feigels has become a big part of all our simchas, brochas, shabbos meals and daily lives.
Food is a source of energy and sustenance; it connects us to eachother, it brings people together and it creates memories.

All of us at Feigels would like to thank you and this community, for allowing us to be a part of so many of your memories.

It has been a privilege and our intentions are to honor that privilege in the years to come.

May your everday in 5778 be filled with the love, joy, protection, peace and health that we connect with during Sukkot.

Chag Sameach.

A New Year, New Beginnings, New Opportunities

Every year at this time we are encouraged to look within to see what negativity we can clear and erase, where we need to forgive and ask for forgiveness and which areas of our lives we will commit to improving in the year to come.

Feigels has looked back in the last few months; we went all the way back to the good ol days in Yeoville. We have shared a part of our story with you and your participation has been encouraging.

Feigels has been an iconic part of the Jewish community for over 49 years and over the last few years Jos and Patsy have been looking for a way to ensure it’s continuation.

This is where Neil Pollock and I come in. I’m Tamar Dakes; Patsy’s daughter, Feigels granddaughter, and Neil is my business partner.

Neil and I have taken over the management of Feigels. Our intentions are to support Patsy and Jos and create longevity in the company. Our intentions are to ensure customer satisfaction, improve shopping experience, introduce better systems and bring our beloved Feigels into the 21st century.

We are committed to changing things that don’t work and bringing you more of what does.

So as Feigels evolves in 5778; steadily towards our 50th anniversary; we’d like to wish all our customers, family and friends a Shanah Tovah uMetukah, a meaningful fast and say thank you for all your incredible support.

 

 

 

 

 

Glenhazel – The Iconic and The New

In early 1994 Nadine and I handed over the running of the shop to Millie Hirsch, Jess’s sister.
Millie was dearly loved and respected by the community; he became a Feigels icon.
She used to love sitting outside the shop and reading.
She became friends with everyone; she was an aunty to all.
Customers would often sit and talk with her, sharing their stories and sometimes even a cry.
She was adored by the guys from Hatzolah who brought her flowers and sang to her when she took ill.
Sadly Millie passed in 2010. She left a hole that couldnt be filled and to date some customers will now only go to Lyndhurst.
7 years after Millie and 23 years after we opened, the Glenhazel store has has made a bigger brighter move.
You will find us in the shop right next door.
While still work in progress we know that you are going to love our new look and feel.
We know this move is a dream come true for Jos, Patsy and Alan.
Watch this space…

We Grew, The 80’s Were Great Years

The Jewish Community in Yeoville was growing strong.
More people were becoming frum and eating Kosher.
The Norwood Hyper had a very small Kosher section.
With only one counter fridge to meet increasing demands PnP called Feigels and asked if they could supply Kosher foods.
This was a really big deal for the little deli.
Wulfie Schwartz who had been working at Kaufies asked if he could join the Feigels team.
Wulfie became our driver and started delivering to PnP.
Fanny Miransky started working on the tills.
Feigels also became the best place for students to work.
We remember Michelle Stein, Mark Class and Steven Lutz.
In my teenage years I used to work at the deli on Sundays and holidays to make pocket money.
Recalling the Feigels story jogs memories for a lot of people.
Feigels has always been a place that brought people together and gave the community something to talk about.
Whether they were singing our praises or complaining, people loved to talk at Feigels and about our food.
Jos recalls a story about the baking licence.
Feigels got an extractor fan installed and the health inspector said it wasn’t strong enough so Feigels didn’t pay the electrician. The electrician took Feigels to court and won.
We had to pay a R100 fine.
The extractor was fixed and Feigels was allowed to bake bagels.
And so the famous Feigel bagel was born.

The 80’s

The 80’s was a time of political turmoil in South Africa.

Rockey St and Bellvue/Yeoville area, became something of a liberated zone as black and white met and ate and listened to music together. Some blacks even lived in the area in flats rented for them by white nominees.

Feigels settled well into their new premises in Raleigh Street; between the hardware (owned by the late Boetie Schiffrin) and the sub-station.

In the 1981 a meat blintze cost 0.62c and a cheese blintze cost 0. 57c

Yeoville in the 80’s was the best place for a child to grow up. The streets were alive and they were safe.

Across from the shop was the recreation centre; a playground with luscious lawns and water slides. On the corner was the swimming baths. There was the bioskope and the library.

Yeoville held open street flea markets. I clearly recall Mr Banda; with his gigantic platforms, bell bottoms, bright hats and a mega-phone.

There was Lynette; the hobo with her many guises. One day she’d pretend to be blind and another day she’d play the role of a cripple. Jos says the only way to chase her away was with a fire extinguisher.

When the hawkers moved into Yeoville; Jos and Boetie helped them erect beautiful structures to support their businesses. The Zulberg’s at UBS donated umbrellas and STD bank helped them with banking free of bank charges.

The ‘Hawkers in Yeoville’ worked so well that even CNN came to see how it worked. When the Hawkers at the top complained about not earning as much as those at the bottom, they created a rotation system that worked really well and everyone was happy.

One day the Police Captain called to notify Jos of a imminent problem. The ANC had called to inform Yeoville residents that they must allow Hillbrow hawkers to move into Yeoville or there would be blood on the streets.

Jewish and Greek landlords started taking advantage of multi-racial tenants and flats fast became over-populated.

 

 

1979 Brought Big Change for the Little Deli

During the late 1970’s Yeoville was a hubbub of activity 24/7.

Rockey Street was quaint with covered pavements and pillars. Muslims, Jews, and Christians all lived together. You may remember Bokkie the Taylor, Mrs Baker the piano teacher (with her ciggy), Sandra Rosenberg the tap teacher from upstairs and Herman Barnett who owned the army & navy surplus store. So many of us used to hang out in the shops as kids.

Feigel’s staff were growing; along with Lolla; we now had Doreen, Daphne, Constance and Lynette. Doreen’s daughter Kinny and Daphne’s daughter Rachel work for us today and Lynette and Delores are still with us, 40 years later.

Sadly the influx of drug dealers created a haven for drug users and the impact was felt. The stretch of Rockey Street next to Piccadilli Square (Scotch Corner) between Cavendish and Obsevatory Ave had become dark and dirty.  The streets became filthy and just the walk into the back yard at Feigels was now unpleasant. It was not the place to be serving food. Parking was also becoming increasingly difficult.

Feigel’s knew it was coming time to move.

In 1979 after a battle with pneumonia, the wonderful and lovable Feigel (mother, bobba, wife, sister and friend) left this world; it seemed long before her time.

By the end of that year the Deli had moved into their new premises in Raleigh Street Bellevue.

Feigels Yeoville – the 1970’s

Without any support except from her family and sheer determination to look after her family, Feigel worked hard.

In 1971 they opened Jos’s Eat Away in Doornfontein, to help supply demand. Basil, used to open the little retail outlet early and let staff in to start production and serve the factory workers in the area. Although Jos’s Eat Away closed after a couple of years and the lease was cancelled, Feigels had started doing catering, and delivering and so it was, that  Feigels bought their first deliver van; a Ford Escort panel van that was doubled up and used to go watch movies at the drive in.

The political situation in South Africa was becoming increasingly unjust. Bellevue and Yeoville, however was growing into a real little neighborhood; attracting it’s fair share of artists, musicians, students and political activists.

In the late 1970’s a well known music producer, established a small, discreet night club which resulted in Rockey and Raleigh Streets becoming the bohemian cultural centre of South Africa. The high street was transformed from a quiet community street serving the local residents to an internationally-known cultural centre with restaurants, jazz bars, bookshops, arts and crafts outlets, trendy clothing outlets and record shops. On the down side, drug dealers and criminals began taking advantage of the opportunities arising out of the almost 24 hour buzz of activity in the street.

Jos, Patsy and Feigel were hard working. This is true for today. On the 22nd of August 1972; Patsy recalls, instead of being home resting; she was resting her heavily pregnant belly on the Feigels’ counter still serving customers. This was the day before I was born; and so began my Feigels’ journey.  Over the next 10 years; Feigel and Mully Zaslansky had 10 grandchildren. With mounting political pressure, their oldest son Mike and his family moved to Haifa, Israel. The rest of us stayed here in SA.

In 1975, one of Feigels’ most loved and well known staff members joined the team; Delores Kelly aka Lolla