All about autumn
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In West Hempstead, the staff at Riesterer’s Bakery has begun spicing up its menu of baked goods as it prepares for its busiest and season — the business generates about 40 percent of its annual revenue in the last nine weeks of the year.
Despite the closing of its Garden City location last month, due to mounting insurance and utility costs, owner Karl Riesterer, 44, said that the bakery has proven to be even more productive in its new location, with more customers migrating to Hempstead Avenue and ordering its special pumpkin and apple items this fall, and especially its famous apple strudel.
As Oktoberfest season winds down on Long Island, Riesterer said that the 40 members of his staff have continued selling wholesale items to local German restaurants, including Plattdeutsche Park Restaurant in Franklin Square, while appearing at its German Parade to sell homemade jellies, jams and chocolates to more than 4,500 people in one day.
Riesterer said that the bakery would soon reach its next level of kosher certification, without becoming glatt kosher, in offering its baked goods to Jewish patrons. Supervised by Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer of Young Israel of West Hempstead and the Guard of Queens, a rabbinical group that specializes in inspecting food establishments, Riesterer said that his staff would turn the ovens up high to burn off any impurities in its products so that it may adhere to traditional Jewish requirements.
“On Friday afternoons and Saturdays, we have dozens of Jewish people walking past, and kids are all coming up to the window and pointing at the window and looking in, wishing they could come in, and they can’t come in,” Riesterer said. “It hurts me being that I live in the community, but I understand their rules, so now we’re looking to conform a little bit to their rules and accommodate our neighbors.”