Baking and Snack International Magazine

April, 2013

Quote from Ahmad Paksima:

“We’ve found that we have such loyal customers, from all over the country. It’s nice to know that there are people who still believe in quality. When people ask me what we’ve changed, I say ‘nothing’. We are a trend-oriented country. But we can’t chase after trends because that would change the nature of the product. Cutting corners doesn’t work for us. We’ve been doing the same thing since 1987, and I don’t plan to change anything.”

Baking & Snack International Magazine

April 26, 2013

Chewys found its niche making gourmet finger pastries using the finest ingredients and a labor-intensive hand-rolled process.

Ahmad Paksima, president of Chewys, knows the sweet smell of success. His San Diego, California based bakery that specializes in rugulach grew out of nothing but an idea and determination. What began in 1987 as a small retail bakery, with first day’s sales totaling $5.50, has grown into a wholesale bakery that distributes nearly one million pounds of product on a national level to upscale grocery chains, specialty catalogs, coffee chains, hotels and more.

Mr. Paksima credits the success of the business to the many kind people who helped him throughout this adventure. Little by little, the company grew through word of mouth, getting its product into a local coffee chain and small local upscale grocery. As people tasted the rugulach, it sold out quickly in stores, and consumer demand increased, as did his customers. Soon, Chewys was being sold through larger grocery and coffee chains statewide. This popularity of the rugulach and customer demand also prompted the bakery to begin shipping nationally.

Although the bakery has grown in size and distribution, marketing has remained fairly simple. Dave Harris, director of sales, said that Chewys attends the Fancy Food trade shows and hands out samples. Tasting the product and word of mouth advertising still seem to work the best, according to Mr. Paksima. “What makes Chewys rugulach so special? It’s the care that we take to make it. It’s the care that we take to buy the ingredients to make it with. And it’s the way that we transport it. We want the product to arrive looking perfect,” said Mr. Harris.

Chewys is about quality, first and foremost. From ingredient selection to production to customer service, the growing wholesale bakery is dedicated to excellence and living up to its slogan of 18 years: “The Best You’ve Ever Tasted!”

Cookie’s Corner

by Cookie Freund May 7, 1996

And What Do Ronald Reagan, Johnny Carson, Donald Trump and Cookie Have In Common? Read On…

Former Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan have incredibly good taste when it comes to one of the most popular Gourmet treats of the century. So does Johnny Carson, Donald J. Trump and Julia Child. And what do all these personalities have in common? Why Rugulach of course. (And I have seen with my own eyes their letters of praise.) No, certainly not your everyday, Supermarket $3.00 per pound Rugulach. I’m speaking about the world famous Chewys Rugulach, out of San Diego, California. Most recently my name was added to the above list of Chewys admirers when owner Ahmad Paksima, gave me the opportunity of reviewing his line. For those one or two individuals here in the State of Florida, who have not as yet indulged yourself with one of these “Fantabulous Creations” allow me to introduce this to you. And I am now speaking ONLY about Chewys Rugulach. A Rugulach is an Eastern European Pastry consisting of cream cheese dough. Rolled and filled with traditional cinnamon and walnuts, raspberry, raisins, apricot, currants, blackberry, and the most incredible of all Chocolate Rugulach. But Chewys are most definitely like no other I have ever tasted in my entire life. Each morsel is hand rolled, with layer upon layer of fruit filling or chocolate, or whatever strikes Ahmad’s fancy. Chewy’s Rugulach contains no preservatives and NO artificial colors or flavors. Each and every ingredient is pure and as fresh as a spring morning. I can think of no greater indulgence than to treat yourself to an order of Chewys Rugulach, and do remember Holiday time is not too far away. You’ll be hearing from me throughout pre-season about this great item. For further information, please call Ahmad or his great staff to order your personal “stash” of Chewys Rugulach at 1-800-241-3456. Do ask for their catalogue. One picture is worth a thousand words.

New York Post

Thursday, July 14, 1994

Here’s a little food for thought – “King of Rugulach” is Rolling in Dough

Get ready for Rugulach! Never heard of it? Well, if the buzz at this year’s food show is right, the rolled pastries that have been the pride of Jewish bakeries for generations will be the food of the 21st century.

“Twenty years ago, who outside of New York had ever heard of a bagel?” asked Rugulach King Ahmad Paksima of Chewys Rugulach of San Diego. “When we started in 1987, they said we wouldn’t last six months!”

And they’re making the big play for national distribution. But Chewys is not alone. At least four other makers of Rugulach (literally “little rolled things” in Hebrew) were vying for attention.

“Espresso bars need a good Rugulach,” said Erica Kalick of Erica’s Rugulach in Brooklyn. “Rugulach is the next big thing.”

Paksima was even more confident. “Within five years, all of America is going to be eating Rugulach,” He said. “It makes my heart joyful to be a part of the Rugulach revolution.”

Menues and Venues

by Eileen M. Sondak February 7, 1989

Chewys Rugulach Rated ‘Better than Homemade’

If you love Rugulach, you have two choices: try to reproduce your grandma’s special recipe, or load up on Chewys. The truth is that Chewys version of these traditional Jewish delicacies is a lot better than any homemade Rugulach I ever ate—and they come in about 16 different flavors. Chewys started out in a small store in San Diego, but it wasn’t long before the company outgrew its humble beginnings and began marketing far beyond our borders. Now, these paper-thin pastries are baked in a large factory and sold in 45 states. You can buy Chewys Rugulach in most of the local supermarkets, where they arrive fresh daily. Owner Ahmad Paksima may seem like an unlikely source for kosher Rugulach, but he and his family (who all work side-by-side in the business) have the recipe down pat—and they never skimp on the ingredients. Try the chocolate, raspberry, or apricot along with the traditional variety. They’re among the most popular. Chewys Rugulach have received rave reviews from every gourmet magazine in the country (and almost every other publication), and letters of praise from celebrities line the walls of Chewys offices.

Entrepreneur Magazine

A mouth-watering pastry with Middle Eastern flavor comes to NW

Chewys rugulach, a flaky, mouth-watering pastry of Middle Eastern origin, is now available at selected stores in the Seattle area. Made of a cream-cheese-based, paper-thin dough that is filled with spices and nuts, the bite-sized treats come in 12 different flavors including chocolate, raspberry, apricot and the basic cinnamon.

Although rugulach is the product of centuries of Hungarian-Jewish baking, Chewys rugulach comes from San Diego, California. Ahmad Paksima, owner of Chewys, has created a recipe that has rugulach connoisseurs from Palm Springs to New York licking their lips.

The dough is rolled by hand, and the fillings are created from fresh fruits pureed right in the bakery.

For the last two-and-a-half years, Ahmad, his wife, his children, his brother, his sister, and other assorted relatives have worked long hours in their bakery building a business that has grown from one storefront location with walk-in customers to a wholesale operation that whips over 1,000 pounds of rugulach to customers across the country from New York to Phoenix, and now to Washington.

Ahmad attributes much of his success to customers who spread the word about his rugulach. “Just a few months ago, some tourists from Washington came into the store and, once they tasted our rugulach, they convinced me that there were lots of other people up there who would enjoy rugulach too,” he says.

Comfort food comes in all shapes and sizes—this one is a melt-in-your-mouth package of preserved fruit, all buttery and cinnamony, wrapped in unmercifully flaky dough and infused with the essence of bubbe fingers, which simply can’t be faked. If someone’s old Jewish grandma didn’t make this Rugulach, they sure fooled us. The Bagel Delicatessen usually sells three varieties—regular, raspberry and apricot, the latter being most sublime. You may think you’re going into the deli for lox, pastrami, or a Dr. Brown’s, but we dare you to leave without a drop of this pastry, too.” – Best Rugulach, Denver Food and Drink

Yes, you do absolutely make the best rugulach in the western world. And probably the eastern world, too, for all I know. My colleagues in the newsroom looked like a school of sharks in a feeding frenzy around the two baskets of goodies.” – Tom Blair, San Diego Union

These rugulach are delicious! My favorites are the cinnamon walnut and the apricot, and then the chocolate! They are made with real butter and cream cheese and just writing this review makes me want to go get some! They are the best I have eaten in 25 years!” – Marcia S, San Diego

Thank you for the delicious basket of rugulach. They truly are “The Best I’ve Ever Tasted.” You might be interested to know that they received rave reviews from my office staff as well. Best wishes for continued success.” – Joan Kroc, Founder of McDonald’s

5 stars!

Once in a while, you’ll come across a specialty place that sells a specialty item that is hands down the best you’ve ever had. When it comes to rugulach, Chewy’s is all that and some. Finger licking good. I only learned about Chewy’s a year ago after a friend brought us some for the holidays, but once I went to their store and met the owners, I learned this is a family shop that’s been baking and fine tuning their product for 30-plus years. The owners are brothers and they are the nicest, hard-working folks you’ll ever meet. I AM A CHOCOLOHOLIC. I am picky too. Their chocolate rugulach is AMAZING. Worth every calorie. They are an old school, family run bakery with fantastically kind people who are passionate about what they do and take pride in their product. U.S. presidents have found this place’s yummy rugulach and thanked them for it. In short, great product and customer service.” – Panalope D, Escondido

5 stars!

Great product and customer service. All of my friends love it when I bring them Chewys Rugulach for the holidays.” – Mason Y, Stockton

My thanks and appreciation for the delicious and fantastic rugulach. We all agree, they are the best in the world! Light, tasty, chewy and wonderful! I expect we have all added inches to our waist, but well worth it.” – Donald Trump

What can I say! Definitely worth cheating on my diet for. And my staff absolutely loved them (especially the chocolate). Ahmad, hard work and great care are obvious ingredients in this wonderful product. I wish you and your staff much success with your business. And thanks again for thinking of me.” – Rush Limbaugh