Shalom Life | November 08, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Schapiro Honors Family Name With 'Sederade'

The Schapiro Wine Company launched the Kosher wine industry over 100 years ago on New York's Lower East Side with the invention of sweet kosher wine.

By: Sara Torvik

Published: October 27th, 2014 in Culture » Food » Interviews

Wine enthusiasts may be familiar with Sam Schapiro, who invented what is now known today as Sweet Kosher wine on the Lower East Side of New York back in 1889. Today the original Schapiro winery is no more, but Sam Schapiro’s great-grandson, Daniel, is trying to reignite his family’s brand for a new generation of young kosher Jews. Schapiro has developed a refreshing new kosher drink called Sederade, which is a non-alcoholic, fruit-flavored beverage to be served around the Sedar table during Passover. We had the pleasure of speaking to Schapiro about the process of developing the drink, as well as the Kickstarter campaign that he has set up for anyone who is interested in helping him to get Sedarade out into grocery stores and onto your family’s table.


Shalom Life (SL): What inspired you to reignite your family’s brand and create Sederade?

Daniel Schapiro (DS):Growing up, I always loved the stories and history of the winery. The contribution my great-grandfather and grandfather made to Jewish tradition by inventing Sweet Kosher wine always made me very proud. Also, the fact that for over 100 years, Schapiro's was the only working winery in Manhattan is kind of hard to believe. A few years ago I seized the opportunity to own the brand and the only question was now what do I do with it? My plan was to just keep it or maybe bring back the wine, but launching a wine business is very difficult and I wasn't sure that anybody wanted Sweet Kosher wine anymore. So myself and few family members were joking one day about an idea for a drink called Sederade. We laughed and made jokes, but the more I thought about it, this could be something I could have fun with, but also would be great around the table for the whole family to enjoy. The more research I did into the Kosher market, I learned that 70% of all Jewish people participate in a Seder and 60% of all Kosher food sales are done around Passover. With the name Sederade, centered around Passover, I could capitalize on both.

SL: How long have you been developing it?

DS: I have been working on this for about a year.

SL: What were some of the challenges and missteps that you encountered along the way in developing the drink?

DS: I have a background in food and beverage so the concept of a fruit flavored beverage was natural thinking for me. However, making a beverage Kosher for Passover brings about lots of challenges I learned. Every ingredient has to be not just Kosher, but Kosher for Passover so you are limited in the ingredients you can have made and use in the product. For example, you will see in our Black Cherry and Lemonade flavors, we could not use any natural colors because those colors cannot be made Kosher for Passover. Luckily, the food scientist I have worked with for years knew some tricks that allowed us to get the coloring we desired! In addition, the production of the product needs to be done under strict Kosher supervision as well. We thought about sugar-free, but only artificial sweeteners are Kosher for Passover and I wanted to keep it all-natural. We use honey as the only sweetener because it is a better option to traditional sugar and also has a shout out to Rosh Hashanah and the sweet new year!


SL: Do you have any plans to bring your infamous wine back onto the market? Why or why not?

DS:I would love to bring back the original Extra Heavy Concord Grape, which could really be marketed as the "Original Kosher Wine" made by "America's First Kosher Winery" or something to that effect. It's a great time to bring back Nostalgic products. I think the best way to do this would be to partner with an existing wine company that might have a interest in this market. Over the years, the Kosher wine market has really changed and now you have higher end wines from all over the world like the popular Bartenura Moscato everyone drinks now during the holidays. The good thing is you can still usually find a bottle of sweet Kosher wine on the holiday table along with the other wines.

SL: Are there any other Kosher products that you would like to develop and introduce to the masses if Sederade is a success?

DS:Yes, I have some ideas. I am looking into developing a snack food product that pairs well with Sederade!

SL: What can people do if they want to help get Sederade onto their grocery store shelves?

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