2023 Lifetime Achievement award winner

Eli Zabar

Eli's Bread
Lifetime Achievement

The youngest son of Louis Zabar, who opened New York City's Zabar's in 1934, Eli Zabar opened his first food business in the 1970s with restaurant E.A.T. and later an E.A.T. gift boutique. In 1985, he began baking bread at E.A.T. and selling to local restaurants. Seven years later, he debuted Eli's Bread, a 15,000-square foot bakery in Manhattan.

In 1993, he opened Eli's Vinegar Factory, featuring a market, cafe, commercial bakery, and rooftop garden. Zabar later found an opportunity 10 blocks south of his Vinegar Factory to create a specialty food market.

In 1998 he opened Eli's Manhattan, a store with an emphasis on hard-to-find specialty products. Zabar, who strives to recreate the energy of European markets, constantly tastes and improves on what shoppers will find in the aisles. Today, his Manhattan retail stores and bakery cover 60,000 square feet plus the greenhouse.