Congers bakery goes kosher

Congers bakery goes kosher

If you are looking for a new nosh for Rosh Hashanah or to break fast for Yom Kippur, Just Buns bakery is set to help.

And it will be doing so this year with a rabbi’s seal of approval. The three-year-old bakery has just received kosher certification from Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham, the spiritual leader for Congregation Sons of Israel in Nyack.

For Dana Reyes, Just Buns’ owner, the hope is that a rabbi’s seal of approval will help expand her business by appealing to Jewish consumers and synagogues.

“It’s targeting another market, that’s the way I look at it,” said Reyes.

Reyes, who has some Jewish lineage, and her husband, Roger, spent many years in corporate America. But when her husband lost his job in the economic downturn and Reyes’ assignment as a consultant ended in 2009, they turned their hand to making buns. The recipe was a family one, and the two were licensed to produce them from their home, after some small-scale production and market testing.

“With Roger out of work, we took a leap of faith and opened the store,” she said.

But it was at a Rockland Business Association meeting that someone said they could put her in touch with a rabbi to explore kosher certification.

Abraham, who has served the congregation for a little more than a year, was rosh mashgiach, or head of kosher supervision, at the Jewish Theological Seminary for a summer when he was a student there, and had special instructions in the discipline. He checked the store, noting that the buns are made in a separate area from the other prepared food and have a separate section of the refrigerator, as well. The ingredients Reyes is using are all kosher, with Orthodox Union certification, as well, he said.

Abraham hopes that his say so will at least encourage other rabbis to check out the Just Buns operation and that Reform and Conservative congregations will feel comfortable serving her products.

Reyes is hoping that a rabbi’s say so will help expand her business. And with an eye to the calendar, she is introducing apple and honey bun to help ensure a sweet new year.

Just Buns is located at 33 Lake Rd., Congers. Hours are Tues.-Fri., 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. The company ships nationwide and orders can be placed at For more information call (845) 589-0357.