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Monday, May 20, 2019

Eli Cheshin and Anna Mendez. (Credit: Bracha Schwartz)

Pizza and more at Berrylicious Pizza & Yogurt. (Credit: Bracha Schwartz)

What’s better than a fresh, hot pizza right out of the oven? Only a fresh hot chametz-free pizza right out of the oven on Chol Hamoed Pesach. Berrylicious Pizza & Yogurt, 439 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, will be open Erev Pesach and during Chol Hamoed serving large and personal pies (no toppings) with a special non-gebrokts recipe. Gluten-free muffins, fries, frozen yogurt with toppings, frozen smoothies and salads will also be available.

“This is the first time a pizza place is opening on Chol Hamoed Passover,” said Eli Cheshin, co-owner along with Anna Mendez. Thousands of people come to our Berrylicious store in Cedarhurst during Pesach for smoothies and frozen yogurt, so we decided to stay open here, and give people an opportunity to come with their families.”

Cheshin asked Rabbi Zecharia Senter, CEO of Kof-K, about opening on Passover two months ago. Rabbi Senter agreed to supervise the process and explained all the details of what would and would not be allowed. A training session was held to teach the staff exactly what to do during Pesach. The store closed one day for kashering. Berrylicious Pizza & Yogurt will be open Erev Pesach, Friday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday night from 9:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to midnight, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Berrylicious Pizza & Yogurt will open Motzei Pesach with regular pizza.

Cheshin opened Berrylicious Pizza & Yogurt in Teaneck two and a half years ago, and undertook a complete renovation plus some tweaking of the menu and recipes. The frozen yogurt and smoothies that are popular in the Cedarhurst and White Plains locations, such as Coffeeberry Yogurt Swirl, are here, along with a salad bar and “hot bar” of Italian specialties including eggplant parmesan, grilled veggies, and mac and cheese. Soups, which Cheshin said are drawing customers from miles away, are made fresh daily, including vegetable, spinach dumpling, mushroom barley, minestrone, lentil and sweet pea. Fish—flounder, tilapia and salmon—can be made to order.

Pizza comes in two sizes, regular and personal. Several styles and toppings are available including The Grandma, a deep-dish pizza with circles of sauce; garlic knot pizza that has each ball filled with cheese; and the caramelized mushroom and onion pizza made with three cheeses—cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella—spiced with garlic, oregano and salt.

Cheshin, a ninth-generation Yerushalmi, had a catering background in Israel before moving to Switzerland in a different field. He came to the U.S. 16 years ago and opened Berrylicious in Cedarhurst and in White Plains.

Anna Mendez, who is originally from Mexico, met Cheshin in White Plains. “I had always wanted to own my own place,” she said. “I had lived in Brooklyn for several years, where I became very familiar with kosher food. When I came into Berrylicious, I thought this was the kind of place I’d like to own.” She introduced herself to Cheshin and he realized she would make a great partner. “She understands customer service and she always has a big smile,” he said. Mendez runs the special events including “make your own pizza” birthday parties and sheva brachot. Berrylicious Pizza & Yogurt also caters to offices, businesses, synagogues and schools in the tri-state region.

For more information about catering, hours and menus, call Berrylicious Pizza & Yogurt at 201.836.1700.

By Bracha Schwartz