Orange County’s Jewish History

OC_0618_HistoryIn 1952, Ruth Feinberg of Anaheim began using her grandmother’s recipe to make chicken soup for local restaurants; by 1983, her one-woman operation was mixing up to 100 quarts daily for the Anaheim eatery that she managed. Feinberg then decided to go into business for herself, and in late 1986 she began production of her unique “cooked in the can” product. Within a year her soup was in 300 California stores, plus half a dozen markets in New York, Arizona, and Minnesota. It was then that she decided to “go kosher.” In December of 1987, Feinberg had 49,500 bright-yellow cans of authentic kosher soup on shelves in hundreds of California groceries, making her product the only kosher chicken soup produced on the West Coast. Food critics loved it, with one going so far as to say “It tastes more like homemade soup than some of the soups I’ve made at home.” Feinberg credited the taste with the fact that she used no artificial ingredients and chopped them by hand, assigning one person to each item. And while the company only lasted until 1991, it was the first business in Orange County to successfully manufacturer and distribute a certified kosher food product.

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