Thal Brothers’ Epicure Market–Where I learned…
This is the finest gourmet food store on the planet. I know. I cooked there for years. It’s still that good, even though I’m gone.
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Posted on August 6, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
I worked there in the prep both in the rear room where we chopped vegetables endlessly and the long prep table down the hall in about 1984. I was also working in the huge chicken rotisserie room. That room had an inch or so of chicken grease at the end of the day. The one negative thing that stood out in my mind was a day cases of sauce arrived. My job was to take sauce out of the shipped containers and relabel them in Thal Brothers’ “Gourmet Jars”. The problem in my mind was that the label ingredients didn’t match. The Thal Bros. ingredient list was much more high end but the commercial bottles’ ingredients were cheaper and contained preservatives. I pointed this out to the boss but he told me to go ahead and do the work. That’s exactly what I did, resenting my temporary position in life every day I worked there.
I’m truly sorry you had that experience. I left the business in 1977. It wasn’t like that when I was there. When the last of the Thal brothers passed away the business changed. There are only three of us left, two sons of the brothers and one grandson. I left because they were making changes with which I didn’t agree, and left the food business entirely. The story you relate doesn’t surprise me. The managers of the commissary took shortcuts the brothers of which the brothers would not have liked. In the last years before they sold the business it became more about money and reputation than about quality. It was sad to see, in my view. I’m proud of the Epicure and what we built, and was sorry to watch it decline, in quality if not reputation. Thank you for everything you did while you were there.