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Two photographs of Krotosky butcher's shop at 48 Bridge Street, Cardiff. It is thought these photographs were taken by Alan Schwartz in the early/mid 1980s when the shop was due to be demolished.

A Krotosky in Bridge Street continued to be named after Abe Krotosky even though Sarah, his wife, took over the business when he died in 1947. Abe’s father Philip (Mark) Krotosky had been the first of the Krotosky family to be a kosher butcher in Cardiff. He came to Cardiff from Karlish in Poland at around the turn of the 20th Century. There had been a history of butchering in the Krotosky family: apparently ‘all the family were butchers’, so there was no formal training for any of the family, just watching and learning from each other. According to Arnold (Abe’s son) ‘it was in their blood’!

Abe then opened a kosher butcher shop in Pontypridd, because there was not enough demand in Cardiff at that time and his father’s shop was already established. Again due to lack of trade, Abe and his family subsequently moved to Birmingham and then became the first kosher butcher in Bournemouth, where he heard that some kosher hotels were opening.

As Abe’s business became established in Bournemouth, Abe and his family moved back to Cardiff because his father Philip died. (Philip also had a brother, Louis, running a tobacconist shop in Newport, so Abe had an uncle in the area.) The family have dated this to around 1916/1917 but the family tree gives Abe’s death as 1922.

The Krotosky butcher shop in Cardiff was previously in Wood Street, where the whole family had lived and worked. Abe was not a well man; he suffered badly with asthma and Sarah helped out a lot in the shop. Around 1922 the family moved to Arnold House in Dinas Powis so Abe wasn’t living and working in the Wood Street shop.

The poultry was killed at the back of the shop in Wood Street and also in Bridge Street after the business moved there. Before that there had been a poultry abattoir in Tudor Lane.

Beef was killed in Constellation Street abattoir and later on at the Dumballs Road abattoir. Arnold remembers working with Reverends Hamburg, Zucker and Gray as ‘shochets’ and also remembered that there were small butchers throughout the Welsh valleys who also had their own small abattoirs. The family also sold meat to many Muslim customers.

The shop in Wood Street was damaged by a bomb during the Second World War and the shop moved to Bridge Street.

Sarah Krotosky died in 1963, and her sons Gabriel (Gabe) and Arnold took over the running of the shop. Their three sisters helped: Pearl did accounts, Esther helped out with orders and Lily made tea and meals for the others in the back room.

Abe and Sarah had another son, Leslie, who became a pharmacist and was not involved in the family business. He had a shop in 14 Broadway, Cardiff, which he took over after working there as an apprentice.

A Krotosky moved from Bridge Street as part of the Central Area Development scheme, when the Ice Rink and ‘Toys r Us’ were first built. The Krotoskys thought that they weren’t affected by the project as the development was only going as far as Glicker’s Toy Warehouse. With one week to go before building work began, they realised that the Compulsory Purchase Order had been sent to their solicitor and filed when he had been on holiday. They were offered premises in Clifton Street which were totally unsuitable, but found premises in City Road, which they converted over a weekend.
Arnold and his wife Freda bought the business from Gabe and stayed in City Road until 1992 when Arnold was 70 and he retired to Bournemouth.

The kosher butcher M Krotosky in Caroline Street was run by a separate branch of the family. This later moved to Frederick Street.

Source: Information given to JHASW by the Krotosky/Kaye family.

Depository: Glamorgan Archives.

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