Hugo Weinberg first started making wurst in Germany after World War I. In 1935, when conditions in Germany began to look bleak, Hugo went to America. He had to prove himself to his relatives that he had a strong work ethic so that they would be willing to sponsor him and his family in America. He worked countless hours as a butcher in order to show his uncle that he was worthy of his consideration.

     As conditions in Nazi Germany became a serious threat to his family's safety, Hugo was able to convince his uncle that he had earned his way and was able to send for his wife and 3 children. Thus, the family had to abandon their History, farm and business and went to America in 1937. After settling his family in the Bronx, Hugo proceeded to work 20 hours a day as a butcher and in other jobs. With the money he saved, he purchased the equipment necessary to begin manufacturing his own meat provisions, which he in turn sold at his own butcher store which was located next to the small factory.

     In 1951, the name Empire National was used to identify the products made by Hugo Weinberg. In 1955, the butcher store where the product was sold was named H. Weinberg and Sons. It was located at 176th Street and Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. In 1968, tragedy struck when the whole block went up in flames. The family lost the Grand Kosher factory, the H. Weinberg and Sons butcher store and the only History they knew since arriving in America.

     The following year, the business reopened in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn as A to Z Kosher Meat Products, Inc. It continued making Empire National products.

     As the family got older, not only did Hugo, his sons and 2 sons-in-law work at A to Z, but so did 3 of his grandchildren and his daughter-in law. When Hugo passed away in 1971, his family persevered and the business grew, Today, Hugo's grandson Eddie, and Eddie's wife, Karen, run Grand Kosher, the successor to Empire National.

     Due to the relatively small size of this company in a trade occupied by giants, Grand Kosher is capable of exercising a great deal of quality control - therefore offering what larger companies cannot - a truly superior product and individualized service which far exceeds the rest.

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