The boxes of Streit's Matzo stacked in supermarkets across the country every Passover are produced not in China or along the Jersey Turnpike, but in an 84-year-old factory on Rivington and Suffolk Streets. Founded by European immigrant Aron Streit in 1916 and passed down to his granddaughters and great-grandsons, the iconic company is one of few mom and pop manufacturing firms left on Manhattan. With a grip on about 40% of the U.S. matzo market, it's still going strong. Rumor has it, though, that the factory has been put up for sale for $25 million for the second time in two years; the owners, who were initially reluctant to give up a piece of Lower East Side history, have struggled to find a buyer. (The business isn't closing, just moving elsewhere.) Because it lacks landmark status, the 47,500 square foot building could turn into just about anything if a deal goes through. Condos? A new Whole Foods? Your guess is as good as mine.
If you drop by 148-154 Rivington Street, workers (many of Puerto Rican rather than Eastern European heritage, in a testament to the neighborhood's changing demographics) might hand you some matzo samples.