Niki Russ Federman

Years of Participation

4th Generation Co-Owner

Niki Russ Federman was pretty much born in a herring barrel, with a sharp knife in her hand and a penchant for caviar. Educated at Amherst College, Niki worked in a variety of professions from the art world to international development before realizing that her appetite was fulfilled by continuing her family’s 104 year old culinary legacy at Russ & Daughters: the landmark appetizing shop known for the best bagels, lox, caviar, herring, babka and other traditional baked goods and smoked fish. Today, along with her cousin Josh Russ Tupper, she owns and runs Russ &Daughters, Russ & Daughters Cafe, Russ & Daughters Bagels & Bakery, Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum, and Russ & Daughters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (2018). Niki appears frequently in a variety of media, including The New York Times, NPR, Food Network, The New Yorker, Martha Stewart, Travel Channel, and Vogue. She is also one of the subjects of The Sturgeon Queens, a PBS documentary about Russ & Daughters. Niki is a board member of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District and Chair of the Friends of the Educational Alliance. She is fluent in several languages, but alas, Yiddish is not one of them. In 2016, Niki was named one of Crain’s New York Business’ “40 Under 40.

About Russ & Daughters

Russ & Daughters is a New York culinary and cultural icon, known for the highest quality appetizing foods: smoked fish, caviar, bagels, bialys, babka and other traditional baked goods. The home of bagels & lox since 1914, Russ & Daughters has been continuously owned and operated by four generations of the Russ family. The original landmark shop on East Houston Street has been in the same spot for 104 years. Russ & Daughters continues to provide the tastes and traditions of a true New York experience.  Joel Russ, an Eastern European immigrant, arrived in America in 1907. He started his business from a herring barrel and then a pushcart, catering to the throngs of Jewish immigrants settling in New York City's Lower East Side. In 1920, he opened his store at 179 East Houston Street, after a few years of operating out of a storefront around the corner. He renamed the business "Russ & Daughters," after his three daughters who joined him as the second generation in the business. It is the first business in the U.S. with “& Daughters” in its name. In the late 1970’s Mark Russ Federman succeeded as the 3rd Generation, and for 30 years ran the shop along with his wife, Maria. They are now retired. Mark Russ Federman is the author of a celebrated memoir: Russ & Daughters: The House That Herring Built (published by Schocken/Random House). Russ & Daughters is owned and operated by the 4th Generation of the Russ family: Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper. In 2014, upon the 100th anniversary of Russ & Daughters, 4th Generation Owners Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman opened Russ & Daughters Cafe- a restaurant on Orchard Street, the street where their great-grandfather peddled herring from a barrel and a pushcart. In 2016, Russ & Daughters opened a new space combining a take-out appetizing counter and restaurant: Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum. 2016 also saw the launch of Russ & Daughters Bagels & Bakery, where Russ & Daughters makes all of its own bagels, bialys, shissel rye bread, pumpernickel, babka, rugelach, black and white cookies, challah, and other traditional baked goods. In 2018, Russ & Daughters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard will open: featuring an 18,000 square foot hub for the company’s food-making, baking, and shipping, an event space, and a retail counter.  Niki and Josh Russ, and Russ & Daughters, have been honored with awards from the New York City Mayor's Office, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, The Foundation for Jewish Culture, and The New York State Senate, which passed a unanimous resolution "Commending Russ and Daughters upon the occasion of celebrating its 100th Anniversary." Russ & Daughters has received praise in countless national and international publications, and theRuss & Daughters Cafe was named #2 on Pete Wells's New York Times list of "The 10 Best New Restaurants of 2014." Russ & Daughters has been featured in the PBS documentaries: The Jews of New York and The Sturgeon Queens— highlighting the contributions of multiple generations of the Russ family during the past century.  The Sturgeon Queens, an independent feature documentary by Director Julie Cohen, has received many outstanding accolades and has also been screened and honored at prestigious film festivals across the country and around the world.