ChiTribe is excited to feature a Midwest Challah business located in South Bend, Indiana. Learn all about The South Bend Challah Company on Instagram and meet Owner Sheer Brown. ChiTribe connected with Sheer on Instagram because we needed to learn more. Follow The South Bend Challah Company today!
Where are you from?
I lived in South Bend for the past 2 years, I moved here from Tel Aviv Israel where I lived for 13 years, but originally I am from Moshav in North Israel
What did you do Jewish growing up?
I grew up as a secular Jew, we celebrated the Jewish holidays, but in our own way, always around family gathering and meals, we ate Shabbat dinner together, but we didn’t necessarily light candles or did Kidush. I would sometime go with my grandpa to the synagogue in our moshav on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but we also had a tradition of doing a movie all nighter with snacks on Yom Kippur, we celebrated Passover, but we read the Kibbutz version of the Haggadah that was a very shortened version and we sang 90% of it while my father played the guitar. We followed Jewish traditions but we didn’t really give an emphasis on religion.
What do you do for fun?
I like to cook, bake obviously, illustrate ( I am a 2D animator by profession), take day trips to new places, go down tiktok rabbit hole
How do you stay motivated during the Pandemic?
It was pretty hard to stay motivated in the beginning, I had my green card interview the day before lockdown started in Chicago, and I was so lucky since they closed the immigration office there shortly after that for green card appointment. I received my green card, but all the things I was looking forward to do once I got the green card were unattainable due to COVID, so, I couldn’t go to Israel to see my family and friends I haven’t seen for 2 years, couldn’t get my local driver license, couldn’t even get a social security card, so I really felt my life was stuck, Luckily I have a 4 year old at home that just kept me too busy so I couldn’t feel bad for myself for too long and he is keeps me motivated for sure.
What does Jewish food mean to you?
Jewish food means family, memories, getting excited when you find the perfect creme schnit cake just like my grandma made, trying to re create recipes from taste memories of my grandmas food, Eastern European food that is maybe not the prettiest food, but it’s definitely comfort food for the soul. It’s trying countless disappointing Gefilte Fish because maybe one of them would taste like my grandma’s ( not sweet and firm)
Where is the best Challah you’ve had?
My uncle Ron would bake us the best challah for our joined Shabbat dinner, hands down the best!
What is the story behind your Challah?
So when I lived in Israel I never had to bake challah, since great challah was available everywhere. When I moved to south bend I understood there was one place to get challah and that bakery closed shortly after I moved, meanwhile I had a friend that had a son that had an egg allergy, so when we were invited for Shabbat dinner there I started making a vegan challah for him and brushed it with maple instead of egg wash, and that became really popular with whoever tasted it when I would bring it for Shabbat dinners, and people would comment that they would buy it if I were to sell it, but I never really felt comfortable selling it to friends. Than COVID- spent almost a year at home, made challah a plenty, became really proficient, than one day in the end of December I just spontaneously decided to open an instagram page and post some of the pictures I had of all the challah I baked and see if there was any interest, after one day I started getting messages asking where can they get my challah, and I have been baking pretty much non stop for the last 5 months.
What baking did you do growing up?
I would make our one and only family favorite brownie recipe by Ruth Sirkis, who is the Israeli version of Julia child, and that’s pretty much it, wasn’t much into baking since I had 2 grandmas that were fabulous bakers that made apple shtrudel, Babka, cheesecake, cookies, austrian Hungarian cakes, you name it… I wish I was more interested and have taken the time to learn from them when they were alive
How do we order your baking creations?
Right now, only available in the South Bend area!