Baking Brothers: Malkus twins run challah business


Photo courtesy of Twin Bakers

Sesame and Everything, two signature flavors. Featured below: Coby Malkus puts the finishing touch on his challah.

Harry Davidson, Reporter

It’s around 3 p.m. on a Friday, and rising sophomore Coby Malkus, and his twin Eitan, are putting the finishing touches on the last of the 30 challahs they made for the week. With their extra free time to bake and the CESJDS community’s need for challahs, their new baking business has been extremely successful.

Twin Bakers, the Malkus’ business, has become popular throughout their neighborhood and the JDS community in Potomac and Rockville. Since they started in June, they have made an average of 30 to 40 challahs a week and 30 challah rolls per week. Coby said that the pandemic motivated them to create their own business.

“Me and my brother [sic] wanted to do something over the summer,” Coby said. “I don’t think we would have done the business if it wasn’t for [the] coronavirus because we would have had other plans … it’s doing really well.”

Their menu features a variety of flavors such as plain, sesame, everything, chocolate chip and cinnamon. Upper School Nurse Heather Greenblum, a two-time customer at Twin Bakers, appreciates the variety.

“We started buying challahs because I thought it would be really great to support high school JDS kids trying to start a business,” Greenblum said. “I think their challahs are absolutely delicious. My kids say they are very sweet, which we love. They are cooked perfectly, and the braiding is impeccable.”

Dr. Melissa Arking, a JDS parent and another big customer, loves supporting members of the JDS community and is also very fond of the taste.

“It is our favorite challah. It actually is a time saver for me if I can get the same product without having to make it, and they do a very good job,” Arking said.

Twin Bakers attracts customers not only with their challahs, but with how convenient it is for customers to pick up their orders. Most of their customers live in the Malkus’ neighborhood or nearby, and Twin Bakers offers a pickup spot at Beth Shalom Congregation or a $1 delivery fee for any customer within two miles.

“We went out of town, and we came back a couple hours before Shabbat started. I was able to place an order on Wednesday, and we had fresh challah waiting for us on our porch when we came back,” Greenblum said. “The Kosher places are usually closed two hours before Shabbat, so it was pretty awesome that we got fresh challah.”

The Malkus’ challahs cost six to seven dollars depending on the flavor, and they are donating a percentage of their earnings to Mazon, a Jewish organization that combats hunger.

Along with their earnings, the twins have also learned valuable lessons about time management and persistence.

“At the beginning it took us at least a few times to get the recipe right, and a few times the braiding didn’t come out as well,” Coby said. “So we have definitely learned to be more patient and if a challah didn’t look right to try again.”

The Malkus’ aren’t the only ones who have started challah baking businesses this summer. Becca Weiss (‘20) started “Becca Bread,” which has gained popularity within the community through an Instagram account that features photos of her challahs with JDS students and families.