March 2020 Ruminations & Ronnifications

Thank you for your  warm and overwhelming response to my February blog. Forty-seven years ago I couldn’t have imagined it was possible to receive such an  outpouring of love and support. The admiration and kindness I’ve been receiving from new and longtime patrons,  and vendors, as well as present and former employees of Ben’s has been heartwarming.

It is gratifying  to hear this after all the years in business beginning with a formerly twice bankrupt kosher delicatessen restaurant in Baldwin on the south shore of Long Island in 1972. Reflecting on all these years, it amazes me how quickly time has passed and how interesting the journey has been….and continues to be .

Change is a constant and mandated by changing consumer tastes so it is not easy to walk away; there are still so many ideas,  plans and work to be done. And even as I take a step back, the management team will be working on a brand new plant based menu with vegan and vegetarian options. Very recently, our supervising chef and I worked with lentil pasta and this incredibly high protein pasta was delicious as well as gluten free which should make many of our patrons happy (and my wife Cindy who is a vegan).

At this point, I still come to work tasting and critiquing, prioritizing my work load and  learning how to delegate more. I  plan to continue to oversee and consult with       those from my current  management team, who have been assigned the task of carrying on this great tradition, a tradition borne out of the shtetls of Eastern Europe with the aim of keeping it alive well into the 21st century…. in spite of the hurdles and obstacles that face many businesses, especially those of us in the restaurant business.

Again, thank you to each and every one of you who  took the time to write , call or make a personal visit . Your support has always and continues to be an inspiration.

You have renewed my strength,  value and commitment and enabled me to-in many ways- re-define my workload as well as my definition of success.

So let’s raise our glasses and say, L’Chaim.

Humbly Yours,


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