Boro Park Snapshot: Appel’s Grocery
In 1959 Mr. and Mrs. Appel bought their grocery store off a Mr. Brownfeld at 4507 14th avenue.
Mrs. Appel, who still comes into the store every day, was always in the food business dating back to when she still lived in Poland.
She lived in a town called Amsina, there her chashuva grandfather, Reb Eya Leib Stinz the einikal of the Pletzga Rav, owned a bakery where her father worked. When the war broke out, the store was shut down and they were out of business. Mrs. Appel, being the giving and kind person she is, left her town and went to live with family in Cracow in order to provide for her parents and siblings. when she left, she got onto a bus, the driver pretended he didn’t know who she was or that she was Jewish, they formed a bond and from then on he delivered all the packages she sent straight to her family.
Mrs. Appel came from a family of givers, so it is no shock she turned out the way she did. Back when her family owned a bakery, they constantly sent food to people who were sitting shiva or celebrating a simcha. At one point her father was offered to buy his own bakery in Robka, a resort town in Poland. Being a true Bobova chassid, he asked the Kadishes Tzion of Bobov if taking the offer was the right thing to do, the Kadishes Tzion of Bobov said it was not a place to raise kids and so they stayed. They were true believers who always stuck to what was right.
One year, before Pesach, Mrs. Appel sent money to her family, her father called her up and said thank you and that because of her, that year they would have “kartuful” for yom tov. He did not specify that they would have grape juice or matzah, he said he’d have potatoes and that year they had potatoes.
Later on in the war, most of Amsina were either killed or deported by the Nazi’s. Mrs. Appel’s mother and one of her brothers remained alive at the time, she kept on sending things like food and coats. One day she gave the bus driver something to take back to them and he informed her there was no one left on the receiving end. She was devastated, but she pushed through and survived the agony, despair and suffering of the war. She moved to Boro Park, married Mr. Appel Z”L, bought a grocery store and has four kids BL”H.
Mrs. Appel’s youngest son, Mendel, is the only one of the bunch still working the store with her. His older brother and brother in law used to be involved but they both retired to learn. Mendel jokingly tells Heshy Rubinstein of Boropark24.com, “I can’t retire because what would it look like if my mother was the only one left working.”
The community recently celebrated Mrs. Appel’s old age birthday BL”H. It was a huge festivity, with balloons and music, people were dancing and singing, it was a beautiful event for the celebration of a beautiful, momentous occasion.
Mrs. Appel went through so much in her life, yet she is still happy and well and has the zichus to still be working, she is a true inspiration.
Walking into her store is like visiting bubby, she is kind and warm and welcoming and makes every customer who walks in feel good, putting a smile on their face.
Appel’s carries a full line of groceries, household items, fruits and vegetables, it is a one stop shop for all your at home needs.
They also make fresh coffee for early mornings and sell readymade sandwiches and salads for lunch.
Appel’s is truly an amazing store with an amazing warm-hearted and friendly environment.
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