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Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Jewish section of South Trenton in the Union-Market Street area was once a thriving community with incredible vitality. Most old time Trentonians probably at one time or another  journeyed down Market Street for the much heralded and famouse "Jewish Rye Bread" from Kohn's Bakery. I must admit that I am not familiar with the Kunis Bakery, but thanks to Tom Tighue who found these photos, Kunis' bake shop has been re-introduced to the 21st century. I recall back in the early or mid 1960's when they were re-developing that area of town, being allowed to enter a vacant building where the former occupant had left a cellar full of old books and papers relating to Trenton. They were recovered and now have a repository here at the Hamilton Library after many years in the Glover storage area.


Sally Logan Gilman said...

Hi Tom: I could swear we had one or both of these bakeries on Hermitage Ave. They had the best Russian black bread and their hard rolls were excellent. Maybe Tony S could help here because he is from West Trenton. I think the bakeries were near The Strand. Regards

Anonymous said...

Tom - I remember walking with my Uncle Bill down Market St from his home on Mercer St just to get rye bread from either one of these bakeries! Delicious!
Lakeside Girl

Tony S said...

Kunis and Kohn's Bakeries we among the mainstays of the once fabled Market Street area of commerce. Shulman's Grocery, Palet's Grocery; Segal's Delicatessen were among others. Fish stores, butchers you name it. Like most of Trenton, those wonderful places now live only in our memories.

Anonymous said...

Little Tommy Tighue lived on So.Warren St. between Mill, and Market Sts. His big brother Joe went on to a successful career in both Real Estate, and Politics.
Prior to Abe Zelt owning the bakery, he had a fish market directly across Market St. Prior to his owning it, it was run by the Kunis family whose son (Menis?) went on to a successful career as a CPA. Kohn's was owned until the end by members of the family. Frieda Kohn Berg and her sons were very successful operators until we bought them (As Chief Real Estate Officer for the Ctiy of Trenton) to redevelope the area into the Concrete Jungle of Government buildings we have today, taking the heart of our neighborhood along with it.
My teacher at Jr.4 was Anna Kohn Todd a member of the family. My neighbor and close family friend John Migut along with Alex Laskey ( who coached Trenton Catholic Football) were the head bakers.
I still salivate over the thought of the "Sibila Kugle" ( Onion Rolls) and the Shofa Horns ( crescents) seldom did a ngiht go by that we kids didn't stop at Kohn's go in the side door and bring home fresh baked bread.
Other bakeries in our neighborhood were: Feldman's on Fall and Decature, Frey's on Union St.(Ultimately bought out by Italian Peoples for the rye receipe) and Edwards Bakery across Union St. from Freys.
In the photo just to the left of Kohn;s where the awning is wrapped askew, is Siegles Deli, birthplace of Alex Siegle of Playhouse 90 fame. Across Market St. you would find "Benny Hock's fine dining; referred to since it was the only eatery in the neighborhood that had curtains.

Lots of fine memoriesof great friends and neighbors despite the tough times of he 30's.
The Caddy parked in front of Kunis' must be a visitor from the Cracker Hill section of Western Trenton. My neighbors did not own such luxurious cars.

Mike Kuzma

Anonymous said...

Greetings Tom et al,

Thanks for the picture.

There was a bakery on Hermitage Ave towards the west end. It was a German American (non-Jewish) bakery. Hermitage was quite an amazing and wonderful street but did not have the special ethnic flavor (smells, sounds and visual delights)of Market Street with the Jewish delis, bakerys and so many other stores and establishments.

Trenton had so much going for it. From its special location to the rich ethnic neighborhoods and the commons-parks, canals, the river and so on. So much became buried and/or cemented over but it all still lies buried in my aging heart...But I still remember my enchanted boyhood.

Tom Glover said...

A very nice sentiment, anonymous. You obviously had a happy childhood in the Jewish section of Trenton during the golden years. You and most of those who make these
comments are the reason I chose, "Local History With a Personal Touch" to provide not only local history, but the wonderful taste of bittersweet memories!


Anonymous said...

Tom - Just an afterthought - Sally's mentiion of a bakery on or near Hermitage Ave remeinded me that my mom had to have cookies from there for guests back at our house after my weddding in 1962. Does Sally remember the name of that bakery? Lakeside Girl

Anonymous said...

What memories!! My parents and I would go there on Sunday mornings after Mass at Sts. Peter & Paul.

I loved the horn rolls and corn rye bread. There was a butcher shop that had sawdust on the floor, I think.

Also, Dr. Jacob J. Berman practiced on Market St., he had lines of people going to see him.

I loved the area.

Sally Logan Gilman said...

Hi Lakeside Girl: I thought it was either Kunis or Kahn -- so much for my memory. Obviously, I have no idea what the name of the bakery on Hermitage was. I was so far off. Sorry. Sal

Anonymous said...

Hi Sally et al,

The bakery on Hermitage was near the branch public library and a
restaurant. It was across from Mr. Herman's Pharmacy. The bakery owner's son was Otto and his last name may have been Hermann (trying to pull info from 60 years ago is daunting). I lived on General Greene Ave near the Power Canal. Now that was a wonderful and amazing neighborhood. A bit Tom Sawerish (Twain) My Grandmother lived on Union Street very close to Market and the Jewish Section.
My childhood was fabled, fabulous and fantastic for a working class Jewish kid. Class of 57-Trenton High.

Thanks Tom.

Sally Logan Gilman said...

Hi "Anonymous'': I practically lived at the branch library on Hermitage. Leon and Molly Schutz had the drugstore on the corner and there was a deli, hardware store and meat market right there. Like you, my childhood was wonderful. I was class of '55 at Trento High. Great memories.