Siblings Stir Up the Kosher Food Scene with Dumplings

We sat down with the dynamic sibling duo behind the brand, whose spirited approach to kosher cuisine has carved out a niche in the market. These entrepreneurs have infused their family’s rich heritage into a modern culinary venture. Join us as we unfold the layers of their story, revealing how a dash of creativity, a sprinkle of tech savvy, and a generous portion of familial chutzpah are reimagining what kosher food can be. 

 OU Kosher: Avery, could you start by telling me a bit about Chutzpah and your respective roles?respective 

Avery: My sister and I started Chutzpah about six months ago. It’s quite new. Initially, we were making vegan pizzas at farmer’s markets and breweries. 

OU Kosher: How did that go? 

Avery: We did pop-ups, sold fresh pizzas, and received really good feedback. Then we thought about turning it into a frozen product. 

OU Kosher: Did you pursue frozen pizzas? 

Avery: We considered it, but the margins didn’t make sense. So, we thought about using our pizza toppings for something else, and that’s how we came across the idea of dumplings. 

OU Kosher: Dumplings? Why dumplings? 

Avery: Dumplings exist across almost every culture; you’ve got everything from kreplach to gyoza to pierogies. It’s a universal concept – delicious fillings wrapped in dough. 

OU Kosher: And branding? How did you decide on that? 

Avery: We needed a brand and ‘Chutzpah’ resonated strongly with us. Although the word ‘Chutzpah’ has evolved over time, it now often signifies boldness and challenging norms. We started selling merch with ‘chutzpah’ on it, and it was a hit even before people knew our company. 

OU Kosher: Once you settled on dumplings, what research did you do into the competition? 

Avery: It was mainly logistical – learning about co-packers and market markups. A co-packer is essentially a factory you hire to manufacture your product. 

OU Kosher: Were you hands-on with the recipe development? 

Avery: Yes, my sister, our unofficial food scientist, led the recipe curation. We did lots of taste tests with friends, family, and people in co-working spaces. 

OU Kosher: How did you collect feedback? 

Avery: Initially abstract, but we then used QR codes linking to a Google Form for structured feedback. This helped us make measurable decisions. 

OU Kosher: Did any flavors immediately stand out? 

Avery: Yes, our ‘OG’ flavor, which became our flagship. Bubby’s Brisket Dumplings, plant-based with a seitan base, was a clear favorite. 

OU Kosher: How has your family heritage influenced your brand? 

Avery: Our grandparents are on the packaging. My grandmother Elaine, who embodied the positive aspects of chutzpah, is on our dumpling packets. We wanted to honor her legacy. My grandfather Lenny, who was in the meat supply business, is on our spicy mushroom flavor. It’s a tribute that I think they would be proud of. 

 OU Kosher: You’re selling exclusively online, correct? 

Avery: Actually, just this past week, we’ve entered retail, which is really exciting. 

OU Kosher: And you’re expanding to supermarkets in Teaneck and other areas? 

Avery: Yes, we’re dropping off dumplings at several supermarkets. We’re now in the five towns, and as of last week, we’re in stores. 

OU Kosher: So, you transitioned from direct-to-consumer, and it’s a frozen product, right? 

Avery: Yes, that’s correct. 

OU Kosher: You’ll need space in the freezer section of those stores then? 

Avery: Exactly. 

OU Kosher: Are you also targeting larger general retailers? 

Avery: In essence, yes. We’re starting by introducing our product directly to supermarkets and seeing if it’s something they want to carry. 

OU Kosher: What’s the response been like so far? 

Avery: We’ve received amazing feedback. No one has really said no, especially in kosher supermarkets. We’ve only experienced a delay due to waiting until after Passover, but the response has been positive. 

OU Kosher: How does distribution work at this stage? 

Avery: Distributing to a handful of stores is manageable, but for broader reach, like 500 stores, working with a distributor is necessary. 

OU Kosher: Do stores taste test your product? 

Avery: Sometimes, but most don’t need to try it. 

OU Kosher: So, are you doing this full-time now? 

Avery: No, both my sister and I work other jobs. I do tech consulting. Ideally, we hope to run Chutzpah full-time in the future. 

OU Kosher: You’ve built the website and are handling SEO and social media yourselves? 

Avery: Yes, all social media success is thanks to my sister’s hard work, especially on our Instagram. 

OU Kosher: What are your other product flavors? 

Avery: Alongside our original brisket flavor, we have spicy mushroom dumplings. These are our two SKUs, but we have more products in development. 

OU Kosher: How are your online sales performing? 

Avery: Really well, we’ve doubled our sales volume in the last six months, which is promising for the future. 

OU Kosher: Is retail your ultimate goal? 

Avery: Yes, we see retail as our primary focus moving forward. 

OU Kosher: How did you fund Chutzpah originally? 

Avery: It was all bootstrapped, funded from our pockets. 

OU Kosher: Are you currently profitable? 

Avery: We are, which is great. We’re covering costs and have a positive cash flow. 

OU Kosher: Are you continuing to develop new products? 

Avery: Absolutely. We’re planning more taste tests and developing new flavors. 

OU Kosher: Do you work with a flavor company for your recipes? 

Avery: Mostly with our co-packer. We start with a sample run and make alterations as needed. 

OU Kosher: What would you like to tell kosher consumers? 

Avery: Kosher food often lacks innovation, but we’re aiming to change that with our delicious plant-based dumplings. We believe even kosher consumers will find our products to be exceptional. 


OU Kosher: What advice would you give to someone starting a kosher food company? 

Avery: I’m often looking for more advice myself, but I’d say the key is to have a co-founder you know and trust. I’ve had many ideas I didn’t follow through on until my sister came along. She grounds me, and together we hold each other accountable. 

OU Kosher: So, having a co-founder helps in refining ideas and working as a team? 

Avery: Exactly. She’s a sounding board and a partner. People wonder how siblings can work together without conflict. Honestly, we’re fortunate to have such a strong relationship. 

OU Kosher: Who would you say is the more positive one? 

Avery: It’s hard to say. We’re both positive, but in different ways. My sister is very creative and great with product development and social media. I tend to handle business strategy. 

OU Kosher: Do you find that your skills complement each other? 

Avery: Definitely. It’s like a partnership where our skills and personalities balance each other out. We both wear many hats and share responsibilities like packaging, while also having our own areas to focus on within the business. 

OU Kosher: Thank you for sharing today, and I wish you both success with Chutzpah. 

Avery: Thanks, Gary. We’ll have to send you some of our dumplings, especially since you prefer less meat. You’ll like them! 

OU Kosher: I would love to try them. Good luck to you both!