Community Hopes to Save Landmark Supermarket

By Ari Mason and Amy Parmenter
|  Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014  |  Updated 9:36 PM EDT
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A local Rabbi says there has been an outpouring of support for the longstanding kosher market so there is hope it will reopen elsewhere

A local Rabbi says there has been an outpouring of support for the longstanding kosher market so there is hope it will reopen elsewhere

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West Hartford community members are coming together in hopes of saving a 75-year-old landmark business that could shutter its doors in the coming days.

Residents were shocked and dismayed Tuesday when the Crown Market announced that it would be closing.

Mark Bokoff, owner of the kosher supermarket, said tough economic conditions and increasing competition have made things difficult, but the biggest blow came with “one of the worst winters on record in a decade.”

Although Bokoff, who bought the store about five years ago, is not optimistic, community members won’t let the market go down without a fight.

“We felt like the only choice we had was to spring into action and figure out what we could do,” said Rabbi Ilana Garber, a loyal customer.

She called the store’s closing a “great tragedy” and added that the Crown has served an important role in bringing together members of the Jewish community.

“There are other options for kosher food, but none of them have fulfilled every option the way the Crown has,” she said.

Garber said she and other rabbis planned an emergency meeting with Bokoff last night and were hopeful that the market could be downsized or converted into a smaller cafe to cut costs.

Bokoff wasn't convinced but said anything is possible.

“I never say never,” he said.

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