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Kim Kardashian’s Kibbutz Kitchen

How the reality TV star made the members of one Israeli kibbutz millionaires

Liel Leibovitz
June 04, 2013
Kim Kardashian.(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Kim Kardashian.(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Like many wealthy, tasteful, and discreet Americans, Kim Kardashian likes her quartz. As clear as glass and stronger than steel, the stone makes for an excellent kitchen surface, which, for a renowned homemaker like the future Mrs. Kanye West, is de rigueur. When Kardashian renovated her Beverly Hills home this year, it was quartz all around.

And, since she is a paragon of discernment and grace, local Los Angeles homeowners soon followed her lead and demanded the stone themselves.

Which made the members of Kibbutz Sdot Yam, in central Israel, very happy: the kibbutz is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of quartz-based kitchens, and Kardashian’s selection of its product for her mansion only helped make an already booming business grow faster. How fast? The company is now worth a billion dollars, and since it is owned by a collective, this means that every one of Kibbutz Sdot Yam’s families now has $1.3 million in its pockets.

They may soon have much more: the kibbutz is currently building a factory stateside, following an agreement to become the exclusive supplier of non-laminated kitchen surfaces for the Kim Kardashian of furniture chains—cheap, modular, and oddly endearing—Ikea.

Liel Leibovitz is editor-at-large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.