Merrill Zorn owns Zorn's in Bethpage, Nov. 14, 2014.

Merrill Zorn owns Zorn's in Bethpage, Nov. 14, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

Merrill Zorn figures Zorn's will sell about 10,000 turkeys this Thanksgiving season. The owner of Zorn's of Bethpage explained that more than 500 will be included in Zorn's fully cooked Thanksgiving Feast, a few thousand will be sold fresh for roasting at home, and the remainder will be flash-frozen and "gift boxed" for local companies to bestow on employees.

Zorn's in Bethpage and its sibling in Bellmore (owned by Merrill's brother Peter) serve a poultry-heavy menu of prepared foods all year long. (Bethpage also sells fresh turkey, chicken, ducks and hens.) But Thanksgiving, Merrill said, "is barely controlled chaos."

Merrill's grandfather Peter Zorn founded the business, opening the Bethpage store in 1940. She has been working at the family store all her life, and vividly recalls "putting the tops on apple pies when I was 7 or 8." But this Thanksgiving will be the first one without her father, Joe, who died in September at the age of 84. "I've been running the company for years," she said, "but my dad was always here."

To ease the transition, longtime manager Frank Saccio, who retired a few years ago, has been pressed into service. "It was Frank who first came up with the idea of the take-home feast 25 years ago," she said. "Back then, it was called 'soup to nuts,' and it actually came with nuts that you had to crack yourself."

The nuts have gone (as has the soup), but otherwise it's pretty much the same: a turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry compote, dinner rolls, a choice of three sides and apple or pumpkin pie, for $20.99 a person, 10-person minimum, while supplies last.


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