A Conversation with Mendy Herz
What’s the next best thing to shopping at Gourmet Glatt? Shopping at the community’s premier kosher market from the comfort of your own home. That is, of course, if you Can depend on the food arriving in a timely fashion, with every item you specified on your list. The many hundreds of orders Gourmet Glatt processes each week attests to the store’s success in regularly meeting both those goals. In this issue of Market to Table, we talk to order department manager Mendy Herz, who leads the busy team dedicated to delivering convenience, efficiency and reliability to Gourmet Glatt customers throughout the Five Towns and beyond.
Market to Table: You’ve been running Gourmet Glatt’s order department for more than six years. What would you say are the most important qualifications for someone in your position?
Mendy: I believe that to do this job well, you have to be willing to take extra steps — often literally — to ensure that customers get exactly what they ordered. And that doesn’t just apply to me, it’s an attitude we expect from everyone on the shopping team. We never want a customer to feel the frustration that comes with opening a delivery box and discovering that one or more important items are missing.
MTT: But isn’t it impossible at times to fill a particular request? What if the product is simply not available?
Mendy: That’s where going the extra mile comes in. Just deciding that the customer will have to do without the product she asked for is the easy way out – but it’s not the Gourmet Glatt way. What we do is pick up the phone and call the customer to tell her we don’t have the item she ordered and recommend alternatives. We also try to avoid mistakes by calling for clarification if we don’t understand something on a customer’s list. Of course, we’re not infallible; mistakes and oversights can and sometimes do happen. But our customers know that if something was left out of their order, all they have to do is call, and we’ll send it right over. You can imagine that’s a policy that has made a few husbands pretty happy.
MTT: Has the nature of your job changed in any significant way since you first joined Gourmet Glatt nearly seven years ago?
Mendy: It’s actually become a lot more challenging. When I started here, the shopping team consisted of four people, including myself. As the community got larger, Boruch Hashem, the team grew and the number of orders we processed quadrupled. We went from two refrigerated vans to six.
A few months ago, Gourmet Glatt introduced an e-shopping site that many customers find to be a super-convenient and efficient way to do their shopping – especially since the store offers free delivery within the Five Towns for orders placed on the site. New people are coming on board every day; even people who never ordered by email are loving this new site.
The challenge for our team is to accommodate these additional customers without impacting on our average delivery time. It’s not always easy, and on our busiest days it’s not always possible, but maintaining a quick turnaround time is always our goal.
MTT: We understand that before coming to work at Gourmet Glatt, you worked in the culinary field in various capacities. That would probably explain why you’ve developed something of a reputation among customers for your expertise in meat preparation. In fact, it’s not at all unusual for someone to stop you in the aisles and ask for a great meat recipe or help in choosing the best cut for a particular dish. Is that kind of role crossover typical at Goumet Glatt?
Mendy: Absolutely — and I think it’s one of the things that makes this store so unusual. There’s no that’s-not-my-job attitude around here or in our Woodmere branch. Everyone has one goal: giving our customers the best possible shopping experience.
And the fact that our customers – the greatest in town, by the way – know us all by name says a lot about our stores too. They’re big and modern, but in terms of customer relations, they have the feel of a small, family-run business.
We care about our customers – and we make sure they know it.
Tips for a Perfect BBQ – Mendy Delivers.
If spring is here, can grilling season be far behind? Below, Gourmet Glatt’s chef-by-avocation offers a few tips for grilling like a pro at any time of the year.
- Find grilled chicken too dry? Use dark-meat or white-meat capons! Grill skin side down for 6-8 minutes, turn over and finish, 3-4 minutes. (Grilling with skin on results in a much juicier piece of chicken, so if you don’t want to eat the skin, discard after grilling.)
- Serving individual steaks to a crowd can get expensive, so consider throwing a split minute roast (commercially known as flat iron steak) on the grill. Grill 4-6 minutes per side (depending on desired doneness), carve and serve.
- Grilled flat London broil (similar to an oyster steak but with some gristle running through it) is another reasonably priced yet delicious alternative to steak.
- The best way to achieve a perfect medium/rare steak? The “reverse sear.” Turn on corner burner to medium low (temperature in grill should be 250-275). On the rest of the grill, lay out your steaks (away from the flames), and cook for 45 minutes to one hour. Remove steaks from grill, and let them rest for 10 minutes. Crank up the heat, and grill the steaks just enough to get grill marks. Serve immediately.
- Vinegar and lemon/citrus juices are great meat tenderizers! Use them in marinades.
- Since sugar tends to burn, use bbq and similar sauces at the end of the grilling process just to caramelize.
- My go-to spices for chicken and meat are salt and pepper. (Always season meat before grilling. The salt draws out moisture, but that now seasoned juice will seep back into the meat, flavoring the interior.) For lamb, make an easy wet marinade of salt, pepper, dried rosemary, dried minced garlic and olive oil. Marinate in the fridge, 2-4 hours.