a different side of Israel

A Trip to the Tiv-Taam Store

Tiv Taam
The Israeli religious establishments curse it, and the secular community loves it; but the reality is that the Tiv-Taam chain of non-Kosher supermarkets is fast on it’s way to becoming the number one supermarket network in Israel. And this is in spite of several very provocative television programs such as the consumer watch dog show ‘Kolboteck’ that revealed substandard poultry products being sold there. Why has this company, whose stores have been in existence for more than five years, managed to become so successful, despite efforts to smear it and even close it down? The answer is class.

Yes, class, that word which is often used to describe someone or something really special; and that is a cut above other entities, despite it being not available to more than 60% of the public who profess to keeping either mildly or strictly Kosher. Keeping to their motto: “there is no type of meat that we don’t sell, these truly up-scale, European style of supermarkets offer everything from pork to rabbit, to ostrich to wild game, and all kinds of sea foods as well. Though in the beginning the first Tiv-Taam stores were heavily patronized by Israel’s Russian speaking population and occasional foreign diplomats, it didn’t take long for the Israeli “Sabra” population to become avid customers as well. Anyone going into a Tiv-Taam branch on a Saturday (that’s right, Saturday) morning will see the store literally full of people, purchasing everything from a few ‘odds and ends’ to the week’s grocery list. Though more expensive than most other supermarkets, the price of one’s shopping foray can be offset by purchasing an annual “minui” or membership, which entitles the card holder to daily discounts on many featured items.

The network also claims to have one of the largest beverage selections, including foreign wines and beer. Items such as Oriental and even Mexican-type foods are available as well, making the chain very useful for people planning parties and other events. Each store also has its own ‘in-house’ bakery, with everything from freshly baked breads to a rich variety of cakes and cookies. As for their dairy department, the network has perhaps the most varied assortment of European cheese available in Israel, with everything from real English cheddar to the best Swiss, Italian and Scandinavian cheeses.

For most of its patrons, the Kolboteck and other programs did not deter them from shopping in these stores, which are open till 8 p.m. on Fridays, and from 10 a.m. on Saturday. Chicken and other poultry products are still sold there, and people still buy. One wonders why other meat items were not dramatized by the media, whose partial intensions (at least by the religious community anyway) may be to close down the highly successful network. Despite this, and having to pay numerous fines for selling ‘treif’ and being open on weekends and religious holidays (expect Yom Kippur), the chain appears to be going from strength to strength, and the chain’s owner and board chairman, Yaakov Tribitch, is laughing all the way to the bank. His corporation, Tiv-Taam Carmel Holding Ltd was listed by Dunsguide’s 100 as the 49th largest corporation in Israel for 2006.

Supermarket chains offering Kosher food products, such as Mega and Supersol, have adopted some of Tiv-Taam’s merchandising layout ideas in order to keep from loosing business from ‘those upstarts’. The bottom line is that people who only purchase Kosher food will never set foot in Tiv-Taam; and that those who relish the chain’s products have them available. As cable TV is now common on Shabbat, and many shopping malls are open as well, so are stores like Tiv-Taam, offering people what they want and when they want it.


  1. It’s the grammar police again – here to tell you it is losing, not loosing. Loose is an adjective. Lose is a verb.

  2. “cable TV is now common on Shabbat”

    Ehh? When was it ever uncommon?

  3. Thanks Katherine,

    I sometimes miss something though I try to edit. As for
    Oz, there was time when NOTHING was available on Shabbat; no TV,
    no stores, nothing. But again, people who wern’t religious
    went out more instead of crowding the malls and sitting in front
    of the boob tube or PC like they do now. Maybe the religious
    community do have a point regarding ‘recharging one’s batteries
    on Shabbat. Of course, they’ll never set foot in Tiv-Taam,
    but they do have stores like Meatland in Raanana, which sells
    things like Dr Pepper and cranberry sauce – neither of which
    are available in Tiv-Taam.

  4. If Jews need/want to be/eat like Goyim, they don’t need an Israel. There is absolutely no justification for a Jewish state if Israel was not given to Jews by G-d. Once that connection is made, then the only reason Jews have a right to be in the land is because of the connection, which implies Jews have an obligation to live as G-d commanded. This explains why Jews who do not feel/believe in the G-d connection often doubt their rights to the land – justly so.

  5. You may have something there, Dorene. Why are the Arabs,
    i.e. Muslims become stronger? It’s because of their
    religious beliefs. Fundamentalist Islam is even on the
    rise in Turkey, despite it’s secular governmental syatem created byu
    Kemal Attaturk. And they (Muslims) have their own definite opinions
    concerning places like Tiv-Taam.

    It all reminds me of the James Michner book, The Source, in which, at
    the end, the American, Israeli and Arab archiologists were standing on
    top of the ancient Tel Makor under which more than ten thousand years
    of history had transpired. The American turns to the Arab and asks him:

    “Who do you think will win out in the conflict over this land?” The Arab pauses, then replies: “The strongest! That’s who!”

    And the ‘strongest’, also pertains to religious beliefs as well.

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