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Family company owners try to revive their classic product

The family owners of Gold Pure Food Products Co., a 79-year-old company based in Hempstead, N.Y., are trying to revive one of their classic products -- borscht, a beet soup once popular with immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe. A Wall Street Journal article said that despite declining sales of the product, the Gold family is continuing to make it. Other local companies that once made borscht have given Gold Pure Food their contracts to supply it, the Journal article said.

The Golds' company, which is also known for its horseradish, has expanded its product offerings to include mustard, salsa and wasabi, the report noted.

Brothers Marc and Steven [Gold], and their first cousins, Howard and Neil, have worked together for nearly 40 years. When they took over the company from their fathers in the 1970s, Gold Pure foods did about $2.5 million in sales. Now, thanks mostly to horseradish and other foods, the privately held company says annual sales are $18 million.

Gold Pure Foods has offered low-calorie and low-salt borscht as well as a thicker variety they call Russian borscht. They have labeled their products as gluten-free and tried different borscht recipes. The Journal sat in on a brainstorming session during which the Gold family debated changing the packaging or making a certified-organic borscht.

Shaun Gold, the 19-year-old son of CEO Marc Gold, told the Journal he had never even tasted borscht. (Source: Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2011.)

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