History of The Crown Market

The Crown Market

The Crown Market in West Hartford, Connecticut has a rich history over 75 years serving both the Jewish Community and the greater Hartford area with quality kosher groceries, deli, catering and fresh meats. Founded in 1940 by Sam Smith, Sam Sowalsky and Meyer Goldfield on a piece of land on Albany Avenue between Magnolia Street and Irving Street in Hartford, the Crown Market was originally a group of concessions operating in the store. The meat and delicatessen was run by the Crown founders, while the bakery was run by the Lassoff family, the fruit department run by Bob Kotik, and the fish department by Hymie Goldfarb. The grocery department was run by the Winer family. In 1943, Meyer Goldfield left the business and was replaced by Jack Sloat. These three owners ran and expanded the store on Albany Avenue but by the mid-1960s, much of the Jewish population had moved from Hartford into the suburbs of Bloomfield and West Hartford.

The Crown moved to Bishop’s Corner in 1967 and it was operated completely by the Crown owners offering pre-packaged kosher meat as the next generation of family members took the reigns. The store was damaged by a fire in 1970, but it reopened after a brief closing. In the 1990s, the next generation of owners included Ralph Seltzer, William Sloat and Marvin Cremer and later the store was managed by Mark Seltzer along with Bill Sloat and his daughter-in-law, Erin Sloat.

Norwich native Marc Bokoff purchased the business in May of 2009 adding the kosher hotdog stand and local Connecticut produce. Bokoff announced he was closing the market in 2014 due to financial constraints. Two weeks later, a group of Jewish community investors breathed new life into the business. The group is led by Henry M. Zachs, a philanthropist and the founder and CEO of Message Center Management; Alan Lazowski, chief executive of LAZ Parking; and Brian Newman, a partner at CohnReznick and the past president and chairman of the board of the Mandell Jewish Community Center.