Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Forest Pork Store closing

Long revered for its specialty German pork products such as mettwurst and cervelat, the Forest Pork Store in Ridgewood will shut down its retail business - after more than 60 years - next week.

High off the hog no more

Walter Kump, one of the store's four owners, explained that these days more than 90% of the store's business is derived from wholesale purchases, as opposed to 30 years ago when 90% of the business was retail.

"The neighborhood is changing. The number of people of German heritage coming in looking for our products is dwindling," Kump said.


Anonymous said...

Hey no problem, it can be an INTERNATIONAL food store (read 'third world')

Anonymous said...

It was a great store! I remember it back in the 50's when my grandmother lived in the area.

I am not surprised it's closing. I've been to Ridgewood many times trying to get to the pork store. I have never been able to park there. When I did find parking, the store was closed. For the past two years, the store kept strange hours.

Anonymous said...

These are the kind of mom & pop stores that turned real estate tracts into neighborhoods !

Sad to see these kind of places go !

There don't seem to be many real good family owned establishments of great character offering such superb products left nowadays.....just nondescript "big box" mall stores !

We seem to be living (more & more) in a 2 dimensional computer link/mail order society....e-mail, e-friends, e-shopping, e-entertainment, e-schooling, e- medical and even (pardon my boldness) e- or cyber-sex !

That's not living....it's barely being alive ......living takes all your senses !

Don't forget to walk around your neighborhood....smell the trees after a rainfall and look at the sun and moon once in a while !
LIVE fully in all 3 dimensions before it's gone !!!

Hank said...

It's a shame. I haven't been able to find the store open in the past few months. Sorry to see it go.

There is another pork store down the road, Morscher's, on Catalpa at Woodward Ave, just off Forest. Great stuff there. They cater to a more international, eastern European, clientel. And of course, the German specialties.


Anonymous said...

MORSCHER'S, yes indeed! Fabulous place. I wish they could bottle the aroma of that store. I've been going there for years. Family owned and operated. Herbie Morscher will most likely be behind the counter.

If you ever go there, try the home made sauerkraut. It's the best.

Anonymous said...

what a shame

georgetheatheist said...

If you think this is bad, the wurst is yet to come.

Connie said...

First the restaurants like Gebhardt's, Durrows and Neiderstiens vanished. Now the German pork stores are going. It's a shame. Won't be any legacy of a German-American neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if they also sold international calling cards they would still be in business.

I mean walls upon walls of different calling cards. Oh yeah.....scratch off games too.

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry to see the Forest Pork Store go, it is a wonderful store.

I agree with Anonymous #3 - it's these kind of places that make the neighborhood.

who walk in brooklyn said...


i love the Forest Pork Store-- crap.

however, i must call foul on #1; the excellent thing about Ridgewood even without the Forest Pork Store is it's international in the ** real ** sense. while i miss the Germans-- note the German Sport Club on Metropolitan has closed too & the bldg for sale-- the Polish (more prevalent on Fresh Pond Rd), Romanians, the Bosnians, etc are all interesting themselves.

likewise, while it might not be to your tastes, please note how almost all the businesses in heavily Latino 'hoods are, in fact, mom & pop (& kids, & cousins) shops, restaurants.

Ridgewood sidenote: do any of you have good memories of the record store on Myrte, just a bit east of Forest? It was something-Italian brothers & they only closed maybe 4-5 years ago.


p/s: the bank plague in Ridgewood HAS been infuriating.

-Joe said...

I remember that store well getting off the bus to to to school PS 93.

The original marque had around 15 pink neon pigs that lit in a chaiser sequence

Karl Emer (spelling) was a frequent fellow you always seen around the neighborhood. Also this guy who dressed a Santa all year round

Joe said...

Last time I was in Ridgewood I walked 4 blocks on Myrtle ave and could not hear one person speaking English.
Joe n John's pizza was serving all dried up pre cooked pies.
Stacks of pre-cooked pies behind the counter.
The Spanish guys working dont know how to toss to make them.
--- Another lost art, friggan unbelievable.

Just about every London plain tree on Seneca ave was cut down.

(I lived on Seneca and Norman)
The Asians living in my old row house (1060 Seneca) replaced the front gate, globes and sand stone with a ugly blond brick wall and yellow brick steps.
My stomach felt like a falling elevator I almost threw up in my truck!


who walk in brooklyn said...

Joe, I'm not baiting you & would love to pick your brain about the hood but...

how about the (olden) days when others would around Ridgewood & ... hardly hear much English because folks were, you know, speaking German & Italian?

give it time, & we can talk about back-in-the-day at Rosa's or Joe's (the old joint, not the newer one up the block, tho' i'm not a big fan of their pizza)--



p/s: if it's any consolation, most NYC pizza sucks, period, including Italian joints using shitty Wisconin "Grande" cheese.

JK said...

How old are you people?

"The good old days the good old days. In my day we didn't have none o' them hispanics and their durned 'international' food" (read that in a creaky, crotchety voice).

Nothing lasts forever. Not German pork stores. Not neighborhoods. People's tastes change. People move. New people, different people (not worse people) move in. One day, they'll look back and say "in my day" with a whole new set of nostalgia.

Connie said...

I do realize that places, neighborhoods change. I remember Ridgewood being mostly German, Irish and Italian. I have many fond memories of that Ridgewood.

Although I no longer live in the area, I still like to go to Ridgewood and walk and window shop on Myrtle Avenue. It's a pleasure to see people using their "avenue". I hate Malls!!!

I have to say that the merchants should be commended for providing the services and goods that the surrounding residential community needs and wants. That's the way it ought to be.

I didn't mean to "dis" Ridgewood. It's still a great place.

Anonymous said...

This is a shame -- this store is an institution. But the Long Island branch of the store (in Huntington Station, Rte 25 a half mile east of Rte 110) is still going strong! It's always been a better operation (since I've been patronizing that business). More grocery items, regular hours, friendlier butchers.
If you want such places to continue, you have to shop there!

mazeartist said...

You can't expect Ridgewood to remain German forever. Same goes for Greek Astoria or Little Italy. Like the Germans, the new Eastern European immigrants also have their own mom & pop stores that deserve respect.

The Bukharian restaurants of Forest Hills, Egyptian cafes of Steinway Street, Guyanese groceries of Richmond Hill all serve to prove that not everything belongs to Duane Reade and Starbucks.

There are still plenty of small ethnic businesses growing in Queens.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see that store go. I remember when I was little at Halloween they would give out hot dogs! The bar at the other end of the block was great to go in also they would toss pennies in your bag! Ridgewood was a great place to grow up.

NewYorkDave said...

I'm a German-American kid, originally from Ridgewood, and my take on it is... Hey, what can ya do? Neighborhoods change. At least Ridgewood still seems like a nice working class neighborhood, which (to me) is the really important thing.

JMK said...

I'm so glad to see people have fond memories of Forest Pork Store! My dad works there, so I grew up around the store and the workers are a kind of extra family.

They are not leaving completely, which is nice. The Huntington Station store is still open and any orders placed before 3pm on Thursday will be available for pickup on Friday at the Ridgewood store. They are not abandoning their faithful customers!

Thank you again for the kind comments!

Ingrid said...

pso glad my sister sent this link to me! when I saw the photo of Forest Pork Store..with the mailbox & green mail storage box I remembered how when I first started working in Ridgewood for the P. O. that was the first route that I held down back in '87. I remembered how delighted I was to discover the store and to bring my mom a German imigrant there.....gone the way of yorkville!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Ridgewood myself, and have had experiences with all the above mentioned business'...my father started his "butchering" career with Morscher's on Catalpa. Switched over to Karl Ehmer's working in Hempstead. Started his own business and semi-retired to work for Forest Pork Store in Huntington...I knew all of the owners and their families...and although I have been living in FL for 12 years...you never forget your roots and feel sad that it had to go away.

Anonymous said...

I lived near the Forest Pork Store for 30 years. They always had some of the best German 'wurst' in Queens.
We are losing a legasy of top quality family owned stores like this. A sad day!!!!

Anonymous said...

I used to drive from Albany to Queens just for Forest Pork. (OK not really, have family in that area and would stop in.)

I found out they closed when on a trip down a few years ago i parked in front of an empty building, and scratched my head for a few seconds, thinking I was lost. What a disappointment. We have a (yes, A) butcher up here with good wurst but FP had tons of different things.

One of my early memories was going in there with my father and seeing the pig shaped salami dangling from the ceiling.

so sad

quad said...

I remember the Forest Pork Store with GREAT fondness. My mother would take me to Dr. Stern's office for my Polio vaccine; I forget how far done Forest Ave. it was. After the pain of the injection we would go and see the pigs chasing each other around the corner of the store and I could have a slice of liverwurst as a reward for being so brave after my shot. God, what a sweet and tasty memory that is!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Ridgewood and graduated p.s. 93. Ridgewood has changed I rememember Myrtle Avenue shopping Bychoff's Record Store, Woolworth's and Kresse's 5 and 10 store. It was wonderful at Christmas the Avenue would be decorated and The Salvation Army would be out of kresge's singing Cristmas Carols and collecting money in a three legged kettle pot
I remember going to Schactnee's
Toy store it was a great store with
old times dolls, and toys of all kinds. Further down was the Ridgewood theater. the Partheon's
movie and of course the Madison Theatre. Grover Cleveland had it's
graduation ceremony there for the class of 1960.BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES--
it has all changed I get nostalgic
and go back every so often. and think of Dad who remenist in the same was neighborhoods changes but
memories last a lifetime.