Food Artisans

Zingerman’s Says Goodbye to Ishai Zeldner

Here at Zingerman’s, we build close relationships with our vendors. If you read Ari’s Top 5 enews or our newsletter, you’ve probably noticed how often he shares stories about the people who provide the products we love and sell throughout the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. We have so much respect for these artisans who are often going against conventional business wisdom to bring the highest quality foods to an audience that they hope will appreciate them—their work is often truly a labor of love.

We are sad to say that one producer that we’ve been working with since the beginning, Ishai Zeldner, has passed away. The founder and owner of Moon Shine Trading Company (which became part of his company Z Specialty Foods), Ishai started working with a beekeeper as a college student in Israel and eventually began keeping his own bees and producing honey in the late 1970s. His delicious Moon Shine Meadowfoam Honey, which is described as tasting like “toasted marshmallows with a caramelized, burnt sugar flavor tipped with notes of vanilla”, is a longtime favorite at His family says they look forward to continuing building relationships with us—and we feel the same.

“He’s been a part of our life here at Zingerman’s almost since the get go,” says Ari, adding that the two saw each other once or twice a year at food shows. “The world is a bit less rich and positive for Ishai’s absence.”

A memorial fund for Ishai has been set up by UC Davis. The fund will support varietal honey research. Find out more about Ishai Zeldner Memorial Varietal Honey Research Fund.