Around the Table Catering has become the first catering truck to be certified as a kosher food provider in the history of the Lehigh Valley Kashrut Commission.
Pending the results of a zoning hearing with the City of Allentown, Around the Table Catering hopes to open their food truck on the grounds of the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley after Passover. The truck plans to be open for business Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., offering kosher vegetarian fare. In observance of the Jewish Sabbath, the business will be closed on Saturdays.
Co-owners Dror and Lee Levi, of Kingston, Luzerne County, have been servicing customers in eastern Pennsylvania since 2010. Since then, the Levis have become known for their extremely popular falafel sandwich, in addition to an eclectic assortment of vegetarian Mediterranean recipes crafted with all kosher ingredients. In addition to a variety of pita sandwiches, the couple take personal pride in their array of tasty middle-eastern salads.
Prior to launching this new vegetarian operation, the Levis operated a catering business that, while not certified kosher, has always been kosher-style.
“We’ve been in business for nine years,” said Lee. “We’ve gone all over the state of Pennsylvania, and in Florida, too.”
No stranger to the kitchen, Lee served as the in-house chef for Kiddush at their synagogue for five years. Together, the Levis also spent five summers cooking up kosher meals for 500 at their local JCC’s day camp. It was there that the inspiration for the food truck struck.
“At camp, a donation of a lot of kosher briskets came in one day,” explained Lee. “They asked my husband to come up with something to do with them. So, he started to dabble and ended up smoking it. Everyone loved it so much, and we got such a huge response, that someone said, ‘why don’t you open a food truck with that?’ So, he decided, ‘maybe, I will!’ We started the food truck off that little moment, and the rest is history.”
At the same time, the Levis found themselves commuting to Allentown on a daily basis to enable their children to attend the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley.
“We came here to give our children a Jewish education since our day school had closed,” said Lee. “We’ve been commuting for four years, but we want to relocate permanently to the Valley and call it home.”
Their connection to JDS has been a spark for both getting the official kosher certification and for basing their business out of Allentown.
“The religious aspect of our life has become stronger, and we decided to do something more on a spiritual level for us and for the Lehigh Valley community."