Anne Russ Federman — the sole remaining daughter behind the name of iconic Lower East Side appetizing store Russ & Daughters — has died at 97 of heart failure. Federman helped grow Russ & Daughters into the family-run institution it is today, working behind the counter from the age of 14.
She and her two older sisters became a part of NYC history in 1933 when their father Joel changed the name of the store from Russ’s Cut Rate Appetizers to Russ & Daughters, making the women partners. Known for its smoked fish by the slice, cream cheeses, dried fruit, and other Jewish foods, Russ & Daughters is one of the only remaining stores of its kind.
Federman married the son of a regular customer, who helped run the store and died in 1980. Eventually the couple moved to Florida where Federman coached recent immigrants in English, but she always returned to help out in the store around the High Holidays.
Federman’s place as a storied New York woman is firm. A 2013 documentary titled The Sturgeon Queens features her and sister Hattie, and she also appears in the 2016 book The Women Who Made New York. A street mural celebrating “Lower East Side Heroines” is of her and her sisters.
Federman is survived by a son, two daughters, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Grandchildren Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Federman are now the fourth generation to run the store, growing it to include two cafes and an online wholesale business.