What We Do

Founded in 2001, Yosi Kitchen's mission is to provide the freshest, all natural, and most nutritious ingredients in our products.  They are packaged for sale in local retail grocery stores as well as colleges and universities for the convenience of our customers. We specialize in Mediterranean cuisine and we are sure you will love our food. Look for Yosi Kitchen in the refrigerated specialy food section of your favorite stores.

Who We Are

Yosi Kitchen is staffed with people who are food service experts and most importantly, they all care about providing the highest quality food products.  "We love this food, enjoy it daily, and want to bring our joy home to your table with our variety of dips, spreads and delicious ingredients."  All Yosi Kitchen products are inspired by authentic and time tested Mediterranean recipes with a special Yosi Kitchen touch.  We use use only fresh ingredients to create the fresh products to bring you great tasting and healthy food for everyday.

Yosi Awad - Owneryosi

Yosi Awad was born and raised in Israel where he learned how to prepare the great Mediterranean foods he liked so much.  He was taught by Middle Eastern chefs who had recipes passed down for many generations.  In 1988 he emigrated to the United States where he took a job as a computer data-entry technician.  During this time he began traveling to New York City to buy foods imported directly from Israel and bringing them back to his friends and family in Connecticut.  There was a huge demand for traditional foods like this and he soon decided computer data entry was not what he wanted to do.

He began working part-time at the Trinity College Hillel House preparing Mediterranean foods the way he learned to in Israel.  Trinity opened another facility at a new location and Yosi was approached by the Director who asked if he would like to become the full time chef.  He accepted immediately.  As people enjoyed his tasty offerings they began approaching him to cater Bar Mitzvahs, parties and other events.  He utilized the kitchens at Trinity and was catering out of his car.  In 2004, with such a high demand for his catering services, he decided it was time to open his own business and began his search for his own kitchen.  That's when he began Yosi Kosher Catering and moved into their new kitchen in Windsor Connecticut.

In 2006 Yosi decided that certain food items were always needed at the catered events that he should sell them in a retail environment, such as a grocery store.  After sampling a variety of foods, Whole Foods Market in Bishop's Corner of West Hartford expressed an interest in selling a trial run of his products but Yosi needed to develop packaging and prepare for selling in a retail environment.  He hired Ian Barstow as his Head Chef and they worked closely to standardize recipes, develop packaging and meet the stringent Whole Foods Market food compliance requirements.  In 2008 they launched the Yosi Kitchen food line at that first store.

His products were an immediate success.  Kosher food products in a retail environment are difficult to find, especially products made with such fresh ingredients.  The initial products sold were Hummus, Eggplant Salad and a variety of wraps - sold in sizes for people on the go and also on the in-store salad bar.  They soon added Tabouleh Salad and hand made Falafel.  The Falafel was so good it was immediately offered in other stores and is to this day the biggest selling item and has pushed out other competition.

Today Yosi Kitchen products is sold in 16 Whole Foods Market stores, 13 Big Y stores and many college campuses in three states, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Ian Barstow - Head Chefian

Ian has always been interested in cooking.  His story is similar to Yosi; he was in a dead-end job working in a warehouse, stuck behind a desk.  In this position it was the same routine day-in and day-out.  He wanted a job that showed him tangible results, a job with an outcome and result he could be proud of. So one day he decided he was going to follow his passion for cooking and enrolled in the Connecticut Culinary Institute.

After graduating in early 2007 he found a job at a hotel as a breakfast cook.  He was quickly promoted to assist with banquets and other larger hotel events.  A short time later he was promoted to be the Sous Chef in charge of overseeing the entire dinner line including staff.  He thoroughly enjoyed his new direction in life.

In 2007, when Yosi realized that he needed to hire someone to help him with the large job at hand.  He already had a head chef but still needed someone with experience and a solid culinary background.  He knew the head chef at the hotel where Ian worked and approached him to see if he was interested in helping.  He refused because he didn't have enough time to help and didn't want to leave his position so he suggested Ian.

Ian began working with Yosi Kitchen part time on the task of standardizing recipes and ingredients, developing adequate and efficient batch sizes and packaging.  When the head chef was injured (off the job) and unable to work, Yosi offered Ian the position of Head Chef.

Ian has been the Head Chef now for 4 years and currently supervises a kitchen staff of 8 people producing over 30 Yosi Kitchen products.

Dafna Kramer - Baking Chefdafna

Dafna Kramer was raised in Israel where she went to culinary school and specialized in pastry and baking.  While Yosi was bringing products imported from Israel back from New York City he met Dafna.  She was a new customer who was buying imported ingredients in her career as a baker for parties and events.  They became friends and Yosi was impressed with the delicious food she created.

In 2004 he offered her a full time job to help with his newly formed catering company.  Dafna still works at Yosi Kitchen producing many delicious pastries mainly for the catering side of the business.  She is also instrumental in ensuring that all staff members are trained on all Yosi Kitchen recipes.