Tulkoff Food Products is a 4th generation family firm which began in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 1930s. Brothers Phil, Alec and Michael Tulkoff are 3rd generation. Their grandparents Harry and Lena Tulkoff began with a small grocery in Baltimore, Maryland before specializing in horseradish and then sauces. In 1959, Horseradish, was their first product certified by OU Kosher. Their father, the late Marty Tulkoff, expanded the firm in the late 1960s from its start in a tenement building. About 15 years ago Tulkoff moved and built one of the most modern plants in the industry. In 2021 a new plant in Ohio more than doubled production capacity.
For questions about Tulkoff Food Products’ services contact Michael Tulkoff: 410-864-0561 firstname.lastname@example.org
OU Kosher: What and when was the first Tulkoff product certified?
Michael Tulkoff: Our horseradish received OU certification in January, 1959.
OU Kosher: What is Tulkoff Food Products’ primary business now?
Michael Tulkoff: We manufacture specialty sauces, condiments, and dressings in hot, cold and ambient fill for:
- Tulkoff Foods and Private Label or co–pack/co–manufacture
- Retail (CPG)
- Industrial ingredients (e.g. milled garlic, ginger puree, prepared horseradish, seafood sauces, etc)
OU Kosher: What is the market you sell your services to?
Michael Tulkoff: We sell to restaurant industry, retailers, marketing companies and other food manufacturers. As we are SQF and GFSi offering several capabilities, firms in search of high-end safety conscious manufacturers turn to Tulkoff Foods. We do this for national, multi-national and regional brands in retail, restaurant chains and manufacturers
OU Kosher: How many products are now under OU kosher certification?
Michael Tulkoff: Over 400 unique products and many more SKUs because of the different labels we produce for our private label and other clients.
OU Kosher: About how many of those products are kosher for Passover?
Michael Tulkoff: Only two of these products are kosher for Passover.
OU Kosher: Do distributors and retailers expect your products to be kosher-certified?
Michael Tulkoff: My grandfather and uncle always said, “Make class A#1 products that are kosher too.” There are some supermarket chains which attach kosher as a requirement to supply to them. Today in North America, most retailers expect the option for kosher on applicable products and many co–pack products as well, where relevant.
OU Kosher: Does being kosher give you an advantage in markets other than the North Eastern United States?
Michael Tulkoff: Yes, having kosher certification helps in regions other than the Northeastern US. We manufacture out of our MD and OH plants and service all North America.
OU Kosher: Are prospective clients of your co-packing services looking for kosher certification?
Michael Tulkoff: Yes. If a customer of ours is not currently certified, and does not request certification, we explain it will most definitely benefit them to be certified kosher. None have said no to this advice.
OU Kosher: Do you use kosher certification status as a marketing tool when expanding to other regions?
Michael Tulkoff: OU Kosher certification is prominent in our brochures and in the other media we are kosher certified. We are in all regions and will export if a prospect wishes to purchase and comply with our minimum order requirements.
OU Kosher: Are you exporting to the Israel market?
Michael Tulkoff: We are not at present. But if it’s requested we will work with our customer to help facilitate that.
OU Kosher: Are you targeting other markets like gluten free and vegan via your OU kosher certification?
Michael Tulkoff: No. We offer kosher and if GF or Vegan fit into our capabilities then we will explore that relationship.
OU Kosher: Do you onboard and train employees who are part of the kosher program?
Michael Tulkoff: We have had workshops/training where we explain to relevant team members what is kosher and how it applies to our industry.
OU Kosher: Do you have products in your facility that are not kosher?
Michael Tulkoff: Yes. Or some not OU authorized which are not labeled as kosher for a non-kosher restaurant chain, for instance, does not need a kosher dairy product.
OU Kosher: Are there any significant obstacles presented by kosher certification and the OU inspections?
Michael Tulkoff: Not for our firm. We maintain full transparency and we maintain open communication with the OU. This makes certification simpler for all parties.