Yakov Yarmove once had his career path laid out, then went down a different road. Kosher consumers can be happy he did.
Yarmove’s official title is corporate business manager for ethnic and specialty foods for SuperValu, the parent company of Jewel-Osco grocery stores and 15 other supermarket chains throughout the country. In that capacity, he manages the kosher sections for more than 1,300 stores across the United States, and has played a major role in the explosion of kosher and Israeli products in many of those supermarkets.
Beyond that, this genial businessman in a suit, tie and yarmulke helps to educate store managers and staff about kashrut, traveling as many as 40 weeks of the year to outlets from Salt Lake City, Utah to Boise, Idaho from his Chicago home.
Being an ambassador for kosher foods is not what Yarmove dreamed of doing as a youth. Born and raised in Cincinnati, he chose a career path as a hospital chaplain as early as high school. After he graduated from yeshiva and rabbinical college just after the era of Operation Desert Storm, he planned to go into the military as a chaplain.
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