This Appetizing Shop Was The First US Business To Add '& Daughters' To Its Name

In the heart of the Lower East Side in Manhattan stands an unpretentious shop that has kept its design and heart firmly rooted in the early 1900s. While 5-star hotels and high-rise apartments have since replaced tenement housing from the early 20th century (NY Daily News), a handful of iconic landmarks keep the charm behind one of New York City's most well-known neighborhoods. One of these landmarks includes Russ & Daughters Appetizers. This family-owned business has not only made its way into New Yorkers' hearts but it also broke institutionalized and gender barriers that helped pave the way for women in business.

While modern-day family businesses are no stranger to daughters taking over, it was once customary for sons to follow in their father's footsteps. However, the founder of this famous appetizing store, Joel Russ, had the fortune of having three daughters: Hattie, Ida, and Anne. When the time came to carry on his namesake store in 1935, Russ felt it was only right to add "& Daughters" to the appetizing business' official name, making it the first shop in American history to do so (via Russ & Daughters). 

Russ & Daughters is legendary for more than one reason

In the early 1900s, the Lower East Side was a wonderful melting pot that brought together cultures and customs from all around the world. One of the more notable cultures was that of Eastern European Jewish immigrants. Servicing a large population, individuals began opening both delicatessen and appetizing shops. In the Jewish faith, meat and dairy could not be sold together in the same establishment (My Jewish Learning). Delicatessens, like the longstanding Katz's Deli, began opening in the neighborhood; focusing on meat products like pastrami and brisket. Meanwhile, appetizing shops like Russ & Daughters were opened to sell fish and dairy.

Joel Russ opened his shop in 1907 on Orchard street then moved to 179 E. Houston Street in the 1920s (Russ & Daughters); where it still stands today. The controversial yet revolutionary decision to pass the business to his daughters kept the shop afloat during wars, depressions, gentrification, and more. Russ & Daughters is now under the ownership of fourth-generation family members, Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman (via LinkedIn). 

Russ & Daughters should be considered a bucket list food stop when visiting New York City. Known for its delicious bagels, cream cheese, and lox, visitors can stop by its iconic 1920's location for grab-and-go food options. If you are interested in a sit-down meal experience, enjoy the company's complete menu in its newly-opened restaurant on the road where it all began, Orchard Street.