Now, That’s a Cup of Coffee! // Disappointment turns to amazement on the FDR Drive

By Gila Lowell

Everyone in the kosher food industry knows about Kosherfest, a two-day trade fair in New Jersey that draws thousands of manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of every edible kosher product imaginable.

Shloimy Lefkowitz was new to the game. He had rented a booth for the purpose of advertising his new coffee business. The café-style espresso capsules offered quality coffee that was cheaper than the name-brand alternatives, and the capsules were compatible with a range of brewing machines. All he needed was a chance to break into the market. All day long, Shloimy and his father, Isaac, who came along to help out, waited patiently. They struck up conversations with distributors and buyers but failed to make a single sale.

When Kosherfest was over, both men were bitterly disappointed. All they had sought was some exposure, but apparently that wasn’t enough.

They had rented a truck to transport the product samples, backdrops and display shelving, and Shloimy helped his father load everything back inside. He would be driving home in his own car while his father drove the truck. They parted ways. Isaac Lefkowitz got into the U-Haul and hit the road.

After a while, Isaac saw that his phone battery was dying, so he quickly turned it off to preserve whatever charge it still had. Without Waze, he had to guess about the fastest route home and took the George Washington Bridge. No commercial traffic was allowed on the FDR Drive, so he steered his truck toward the West Side Highway. Then, as if the day hadn’t been lousy enough, the low-fuel indicator lit up. How much time did he have before he’d be riding on fumes?

The next thing Isaac knew, he had slammed into the car ahead of him. The airbag immediately deployed, and car horns began honking all around him. The vehicle in front of him had stopped short; lost in thought, he had plowed right into its bumper. 

Isaac opened his door and limped out. (He later found out that he had broken a rib.) The other car was a late-model sedan that now had a large dent. As he watched, the door opened and a well-dressed woman got out. They exchanged insurance information. While they waited for the police to show up, they made small talk.

“Why are you driving a truck?” the woman asked. “I’ve never seen a trucker wearing a suit and tie.”

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