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Issue Date: Vol. 47, No. 6, June 2007, Posted On: 6/14/2007

Hip-Hop Celebrity Invests In Kosher Vending Venture

Emily Jed

NEW YORK CITY — Kosher Vending Industries LLC reports a substantial investment in its new venture by Ruby Azrak, a former Phat Farm executive and partner to hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. Azrak currently is the producer of House of Deréon, superstar Beyoncé’s family brand.

KVI has developed the Hot Nosh 24/6 program, a certified kosher hot food line formulated for optimum results when rethermalized in two dedicated vending machines. The equipment chosen for the program are the Hot Choice Automated Diner by KRh Thermal Systems and a special-purpose hot dog vender, the HD3000, from LHD Vending Systems.

“Every business I go into targets niche audiences,” Azrak explained. “Hot Nosh 24/6 addresses a void and taps into the kosher food market in a way that no other product does today.”

KVI was established when cofounders Alan Cohnen and Doron Fetman were discussing the challenges kosher travelers have when visiting locations that have no available kosher hot food. Together they researched various options and the KVI concept was born.

“I know this niche,” said Azrak, who also eats only kosher food.

Cohnen and Fetman explained that they will use the capital to help expand the company, first in the New York City area and, very quickly, nationwide. In a matter of months since its inception, the company has signed more than 50 locations. The founders plan to launch within a few months.

Available snacks include Sicilian pizza, mozzarella sticks, potato knishes, onion rings and vegetarian cutlets for the Hot Choice machine, and fresh, grilled kosher hot dogs in buns for the LHD vender. The snacks, which are Cholov Israel (dairy) and Pas Israel (breads), as well as the hot dogs which are mezonot (the rolls do not require ritual handwashing prior to consumption), are all Kof-K certified and under Chasidish Hashgacha (supervision). Plans call for expanding the variety in the line.

The proprietary Hot Choice Automated Diner was the first fully-automated food delivery system to offer high-quality, hot cooked meals in 60 seconds from frozen storage, using a combination of forced hot-air impingement and microwave reheating. The HD3000  refrigerates, stores, grills  and dispenses a hot dog on a warm bun in a plastic tray in as little as 45 seconds.

Information on Hot Nosh 24/6, and on kosher certifications, can be found online at koshervendingindustries.com.

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