Corlett Drive’s popular Birnam Food opens as Sadie’s Kosher Style Deli at The Gourmet Grocer
In 1993, Joshua Simon was a four-year-old up selling granadilla chiffon and cheesecakes at the till at his family deli Birnam Food in Corlett Drive. Now in 2021, Josh is reviving his late great grandmother’s beloved dishes together with partner Larry Hodes to open Sadie’s at The Gourmet Grocer and just in time for the Jewish Holidays.
Birnam Food was started in 1978 by Josh’s great grandmother Sadie Goldreich and her husband Rudolph. The couple used to make and sell sandwiches in Johannesburg CBD but like all strong women looking after their families, Sadie had bigger plans. With nothing but a dream of starting a deli, a two-plate stove and traditional Jewish recipes in her head, Birnam Food was started in Corlette Drive.
With an old school numbering system and all the traditional Jewish foods on the menu, a queue around the corner on a Friday afternoon or ahead of Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) was no surprise. Known for their gefilte fish, chopped liver, herrings, hot beef on rye and legendary roast chickens, Sadie created her deli dream which became a culinary feature for the Jewish community back then. Her grandson Daren (Josh’s dad) who had worked with Sadie for two decades, took over the deli when Sadie retired, running it under her tutelage and honouring her authentic recipes
Now 16 years later after having closed in 2005, Sadie’s great grandson Joshua is opening the deli doors again and even bringing one of Sadie’s first employees, Jeanette Kunene back into the kitchen.
“Re-opening the deli has been a dream of mine for many years, but the time wasn’t right” says Josh. “You also need to surround yourself with the right partners. Larry not only understands the Birdhaven customers better than anyone I know, but he knows how important this is to me. “
Larry grew up eating many of the same traditional meals from Birnam Food over Jewish holidays as a child and already has a popular hot beef on rye on his menu. “I have wanted to expand the deli offering at The Gourmet Grocer for some time and Josh has wanted to bring Sadie’s recipes back to life. So, this made sense to us both.” Says Larry. “Not only will this food be familiar for Jewish clientele, but we look forward to introducing our existing customers to some of these traditional meals too.”
“I have been waiting for Josh to phone me for many years. And now he has, and we can cook together again” concludes Jeanette.
To put in your order, please collect an order form from The Gourmet Grocer or please email or phone us and we will email you a form
Sadie’s is a Kosher Style Deli
- We only use Kosher meat
- We have a separate and dedicated kitchen
- No diary items used
- We are NOT under the Beth Din