The Esrogim Center: Crown Heights Landmark

He began as a yeshiva student shlepping boxes for an esrog distributor in Borough Park. Now he’s one of the most prominent esrog salesmen internationally, with his website garnering some of of the highest rankings on Google and other popular search engines.

Sitting in his Carroll Street basement “showroom” in Crown Heights, Mendy Lipsker is surrounded by hundreds of handpicked esrogim. He smiles as he fondly recalls the old times. “I told them I’d be better at sales than physical labor,” he quips. “I brought a box of esrogim to Crown Heights, put up a few signs, and sold them from my parents’ front porch on Montgomery Street.”

By the next year, he was selling his wares from a sukkah on the corner of President and Kingston, outside what was then Kesser Dry Cleaners. Lipsker quickly amassed a large customer base who appreciated his service and the quality of his merchandise.

The sukkah brought with it numerous challenges, not least of which were the frequent torrential downpours the following year. Undeterred, Lipsker rented a truck and parked it on the corner, conducting a brisk business with local residents and Chabad Shluchim from nearby cities.

For years, the Esrogim Center truck was a Crown Heights landmark, its annual appearance signaling the advent of the upcoming festivals. “People began associating me with esrogim,” says Lipsker. “I would meet people on Tu B’Shvat, and they would bless me with a good esrog harvest. “

In 2000 Lispkar launched esrogimcenter.com, recognizing the power and potential of online sales long before it became popular. The site comes up tops in most esrogim searches, and sells thousands of the traditional fruits each year.

Six years later, he began travelling to Italy himself to secure the highest quality esrogim. “My customers trust me. I want to make sure they get the very best. What better way than to travel with a trusted mashgiach and examine them myself?”

The Esrogim Center’s loyal customers have come to trust Mendy’s judgment. “What you got for me?” bellows one customer as he strolls in. Lipsker quickly gives him a choice of esrogim that had been put aside. “Beautiful! Just the way I like it,” the customer enthuses.

“I remember people’s preferences, and make sure everyone gets something they like,” says Lipsker. “I’ve heard people say that one’s esrog should match one’s personality. I see that in people’s choices all the time.”

Despite founding Citicard International, a credit card processing company, and serving as a real estate broker, Lipsker has no plans of closing the Esrogim Center. “I get very excited every time someone walks out of here smiling with a beautiful esrog.”

7 Comments

  • 2. Yechiel Nadler wrote:

    This is the first year I baught a esrog from mendy Lipsker. I was very happy with the personalised service and large selection of good quality esrogim. I will be back next year IY”H

    Reply
  • 3. Yehuda Venice Ca. wrote:

    Grafting is a horticultural technique whereby tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another so that the two sets of vascular tissues may join together. This vascular joining is called inosculation. The technique is most commonly used in asexual propagation of commercially grown plants for the horticultural and agricultural trades.

    Reply
  • 4. To #1 wrote:

    Your post is extremely helpful since i’m on a computer that prohibits access to wiki or any site other than this one.

    Reply
  • 5. Esrog sercher wrote:

    BH

    Does Mendy Lipsker go him self to Calabria, or does the esrogimcenter.com have a Rabbinic over sight etc.

    Reply
  • 6. Your Answer wrote:

    There is a mashgiach Tomidi & 2 eidim led by Rabbi Chatche Wudowsky from Crown Heights who is an expert in this field

    Reply

Leave Comment

Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly.