One balmy June afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting Anna and Naftali Hanau. My goal was to learn more about pasture-raised beef as this is a fairly new concept to the kosher world. It was inspiring to hear Anna and Naftali share their story and give a tour of their backyard. We chatted over a BBQ feast they prepared, and the simple but truly mouthwatering food was an unexpected perk. We enjoyed Grow & Behold beef tartare (exceptional!), beef burgers, and marinated lamb chops with a salad of greens freshly picked that morning from the garden.
In the backyard of a Brooklyn brownstone, lies a chicken coop with an array of beautiful chickens, surrounded by a garden of herbs, greens and vegetables, and a true living-off-the-land experience: a compost (decayed organic material used as a plant fertilizer).
The owners of this backyard, Naftali and Anna Hanau truly practice what they preach. As the founders of Grow & Behold Foods, they believe in living a natural, sustainable lifestyle. When their dreams of owning a farm didn’t work with their Orthodox lifestyle, Naftali and Anna started Grow & Behold, a unique family-run business which provides high-quality OU-glatt kosher pasture-raised chicken, beef, sausages, beef bacon and lamb to kosher consumers throughout the United States.
Grow & Behold started out in the summer of 2010 with just chickens and it took over a year to start beef production and another year to start lamb. There is tremendous thought and planning that goes into finding the right farms to raise the meat and they are focused on doing it right rather than doing it fast. Customers loved the healthier alternative and swear by the difference in quality and taste. The company quickly grew by word of mouth and in addition to retail consumers; Grow & Behold supplies products to many top kosher restaurants such as Pardes in Brooklyn, Citron and Rose in Philadelphia and the Amsterdam Burger Company on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Every part of the company has a unique story. The name Grow & Behold was chosen by the guests at the Hanau’s wedding, where they ran a contest to choose the name of what they thought would be their farm. Their famous chicken, titled Sara’s Spring Chicken was named by Naftali’s grandmother who upon eating the pasture-raised chicken immediately proclaimed, “This tastes like spring chicken…I haven’t had it since I was a child.” Sara’s comment defined their mission, and fans of Grow & Behold, like Naftali’s grandmother, taste the difference.
What is unique to Grow & Behold’s pastured meat and poultry? The animals are allowed to roam free, eat grass, critters and do what comes naturally to them. They eat mainly grass, are fed some grain as a supplement, and are given antibiotics only when they are sick.
For more information and cooking tips visit www.growandbehold.com