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.