Gabila's Knishes has kicked production into high gear, but demand is still outstripping supply for its fried square knishes after a five-month absence.
"We have customers telling us they're literally flying off the shelf," said Stacey Ziskin Gabay, executive vice president and general counsel of the Copiague-based maker of square, fried knishes.
Ziskin Gabay said that many outlets reported customers snatching all the boxes of knishes before they could be packed on shelves, a claim that was backed up by a worker at the Costco warehouse club on Broad Hollow Road in Melville.
Ziskin Gabay estimated that the company has been making twice as many of the dough shells with potato or other fillings as usual since production resumed Feb. 24.
A machine that produces the square knishes was knocked out of commission in a September fire and the resulting water damage. A new, custom-made machine was not delivered and cleared by fire officials for production until late February.
After the fire, the company continued making its other products, including baked round knishes and blintzes. But the roughly 13 million square, fried knishes produced yearly had accounted for about three-quarters of the 93-year-old company's revenue.
Ziskin Gabay said that all its customers, including supermarkets, delicatessens, food trucks and warehouse clubs, have received at least one delivery since the production line restarted.
"All my drivers, their routes are tremendous," she said. "More stops than usual and very large quantities."
Ziskin Gabay said it's unclear how long it will take to fill America's appetite for fried knishes.
"It's too early to tell how long this effect will last," she said.