Urban Challah Made Local and Kosher in Chicago!
Looking for real Challah in Chicago? Look no further. As of May 2019, Urban Challah is here and incredibly delicious. Brocha runs Lincoln Park Chabad with her Husband Rabbi Mendy. She is taking the old classic to a new level at the Green City Market in Lincoln Park.
“There is something about challah that brings a sense of community. As it is traditionally eaten on Shabbat, surrounded by family and friends.”
Who are you and when did you start this?
I am Brocha from Lincoln Park Chabad, but originally from Florida. I have always baked and loved baking. In preschool, we always made Challah and I kept going. Growing up, I watched this VHS that teaches you how to braid a challah (by Ester Winner) probably a hundred times until I learned how to braid a 6 braided challah (the hardest kind). I am always baking challah for Shabbat programs but I like to switch it up, because who needs just #basic challah each week.
What is Urban Challah?
Urban Challah is local made with mainly organic and local ingredients. We just started May 8th 2019 and it has been unbelievable. Even though I have always been asked to sell my challah, I used to say “absolutely not”. The truth is I love the Lincoln Park Green City Market and I feel selling challah to the community aligns with our mission at Chabad. This is a new opportunity to create a Jewish presence and community in Lincoln Park through challah!
Is Urban Challah exceeding your expectations?
Yes, absolutely. I thought I would bring 50 challahs over the first week and get to hang out at the market and meet people. After we sold out in the first hour, I realized this was going to be something. We continue to add product but continue to sell out. Last week, we made 200 challot. We have expanded to a team of four. As we run Lincoln Park Chabad, Urban Challah is not the only we thing we do and we did not expect it to be such a hit! We are incredibly thankful for all the love.
What is your favorite part about selling at Green City Market?
I get to meet my neighbors! I literally met my neighbor from across the street last week at the Market. That is the best part because I really am a people’s person and love to chat.
What are people’s reactions to a challah stand at the market?
The first reaction someone has when they see the booth is “Oh my gosh its… challah!” And it’s not regular challah, it is next level quality stuff so people are really excited. I have learned that people have different challah french toast philosophies: I get a lot of requests for non-sesame seed challah so they can use it for french toast. Jews and non-Jews approach us, excited with questions. I explain challah as “a Jewish bread that is slightly sweeter and denser than a dinner roll.” We have also been asked about the pronunciation of the word “challah” and what a CH sound is. My favorite comment recently was “Why don’t you sell challah on Saturday? Why don’t you just hire a Shabbos goy (non-Jewish person to run the stand).” We will not be selling on Shabbat!
What are the most popular flavors?
Regular is $8 Rolls $3
Classic – Because people come to make French toast and do not want anything but the basics
Garlic Chive – Because seasonally deliciousness
Everything Bagel – Because Jews.
Pretzel – Because.
What are the local ingredients this week?
The eggs are from Finns Ranch. I go weekly and get freshly collected eggs. For flour, we are using a mix of Janie’s Farm flour where I am directly in touch with the miller himself.
Tell us about Lincoln Park Green City Market?
Being a part of the market means selling sustainable and local food and to create an economy out of local vendors. As the market ends each week, I go shopping according to seasonal dishes. We bake according to the flavor of the season, with 3-4 different options. We put all of our flavors on Instagram. Since there is no locally made chocolate, we are not able to bake with this ingredient even it’s a crowd favorite. After I set up everything, I go buy flowers! It is the perfect vibe with fresh fruit and flowers and of course Challah!
Plans for the future?
We will see. B’E
How can you get Urban Challah?
Get it fresh at the Green City Market! I am only at the Market right now! 7am-1pm on Wednesdays between Clark and Stockton right across from the Zoo and the Lincoln Park Hotel.
Learn more: IG @UrbanChallah
When the Tribe gathers…Someone BETTER bring challah.
Find Jewish Eats in Chicago on ChiTribe.org