Coalition for Veteran Owned Business Launches
The newly launched Coalition for Veteran Owned Business (CVOB) is providing thought leadership and support to veteran owned businesses across the U.S.
Anna and Naftali Hanau first met while working on an organic Jewish Farming Fellowship farm in rural Connecticut. They fell in love, tied the knot, and started a family.
Along the way, they also started their own business.
Founded in 2010, the couple’s Brooklyn-based startup Grow and Behold Foods sells kosher OU Glatt pastured beef and poultry from livestock raised on small and sustainable family farms. The social impact company ships its highly specialized cuts to customers who observe kosher dietary guidelines, from the boroughs of New York City and across the nation.
The couple—communications director Anna, a published author and Jewish educator, and CEO Naftali, a horticulturist by trade and Jewish ritual slaughterer (shochet)—never planned to enter the kosher meat business. As newlyweds, they had originally aimed to start an organic vegetable farm. But Anna says the idea for Grow and Behold took root after she and her husband discovered a frustrating hole in the kosher foods market.
“We wanted to eat sustainably produced, ethical, delicious, hormone- and antibiotic-free kosher meat,” she says in an interview with Free Enterprise. “Meat from healthy animals raised on open pastures, where they’re free to move around.” But they struggled to find such specific fare, even at the better farmer’s markets in the city, and they knew they weren’t alone.
“We talked to a lot of people who, like us, wanted to eat animals who live the lives they’re meant to live—in both metropolitan and rural areas,” she adds. “So we set out to satisfy that need.”
The Hanaus also set out to build a business that they could tailor around their Shabbat-observance of the Jewish faith, and enable them to send their children to private Jewish day school. Grow and Behold fits both bills, Anna says.
At first, she and Naftali worked on their own and sold only chicken. With each passing year, they added employees (they now have 20) and new products.
Today, Grow and Behold’s menu has grown to include kosher turkey, duck, beef, lamb, rose veal, beef bacon, sausages, gefilte fish, and wild salmon. The company also now sells hard-to-find specialty kosher cheeses (OU and cholov yisroel), thanks to a partnership with fellow New York specialty food purveyor Brent Delman, the chief cheesemonger behind The Cheese Guy.
As the Hanaus’ budding venture expanded beyond their Brooklyn brownstone neighborhood, and beyond the Big Apple, so did their delivery operation. Customers in New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Northern New Jersey receive deliveries from Grow and Behold’s own fleet of dedicated van drivers. Deliveries to farther flung areas of the country are shipped via FedEx and freight.
The meat and poultry Anna and Naftali offer are raised on independent farms in Pennsylvania and Maryland that echo the couple’s values around animal welfare and environmentally sustainable agriculture.
“We work with them because we want consumers to think about where their food comes from and why they should pay a little bit more for good quality meat,” she says. “We also aim to raise awareness that, when you raise animals outdoors, it’s healthier for the animals, the farmers, and the earth.”
One farmer Grow and Behold contracts with, Anna recalls, was so thrilled to see his formerly cooped-up turkeys wandering around outside the barn, he could barely contain his enthusiasm. “He called us up and said, ‘The turkeys are so happy, they’re so cute!’ He’d never seen them running so wild and free.”
Practicing what she preaches, Anna’s own poultry flock roams her family’s backyard. She keeps a dozen chickens for fresh eggs. As for the turkey she’ll treat her family to on Thanksgiving next week, you can be sure it’ll be a Grow and Behold bird, too.
As a special Thanksgiving treat to Free Enterprise readers, Anna also shared her favorite recipe for tasty turkey and gravy. Enjoy!
Roast the Turkey
Make the gravy