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Meanwhile, Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew who was Winn-Dixie’s kosher category manager at the time, was leading a companywide kosher expansion, getting kosher certification for as many Winn-Dixie private-label products as qualified for it. In the last eight years, the company’s kosher brand presence has grown by 80 percent, according to Shapiro.

The company also launched a Winn-Dixie-branded kosher line of pareve baked goods, including black-and-white cookies, linzer tarts, macaroons, rainbow cookies and challah. Today, customers can walk into any Winn-Dixie store in the five states where the company operates – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi – and buy challah or have the store order it for them.

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In all, 135 Winn-Dixie stores carry some specialty kosher items, though only the three in South Florida have in-store kosher supervision.

(JTA)

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