Hey business majors! Listen up! Have I got a pitch for you…
Okay, here’s the deal. I like Indian/Pakistani food. To eat this food on a daily basis requires buying from an Indian/Pakistani grocer. I’m imagining aisles upon aisles of basmati rice, fresh produce, pickled mango. Where is such a grocery located? Not here in Philly.
That’s a lie.
We do have a couple of “Indo-Pak” stores, as they were once called. (Until the late 90’s when all of a sudden Philly had enough of each population that there was no need to draw customers from the other side.)
- International Foods and Spices, 4203 Walnut St, 215-222-4480
I grew up going to this store. Owned by a family of Sikhs, it is truly one of the great Indian stores of our time. After his father retired, the son (who got his degree in business from nearby Drexel), took over the place, tearing down walls and transforming it into a large, airy mecca for Indian cooks in University City. Unfortunately, with that business acumen came a sharp increase in prices. So all of us Northeastish kids can’t really afford this place anymore. :(
- Subzi Mandi, 3300 State Rd,Bensalem, PA 19020, (215) 244-7824
Subzi Mandi is well known to anyone who shops in the Indianized towns of Edison, NJ or Jackson Heights, NY. Subzi Mandi is the Walmart of all Indian stores. This store is massive and usually has 3-4 shops inside as well, generally a jewelry store (24 carat gold!), a music store and of course the sweets shop. After Subzi Mandi recently relocated their store to a giant warehouse, however, prices have gone up (most likely reflecting their new lease payment). Also, the store is about half an hour outside of PA, inconvenient for those who need their rasgullahs right now, right here.
- Patel’s Grocery Store 2825 Tyson Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19149, (215) 335-4974
The Northeast often has a slew of ethnic stores that open, then close on a regular basis. Patel’s Grocery has managed to stay open for the past few years. They have killer produce and killer prices. The store is (like most Indo-Pak stores) divided into a video store/grocery store. The only problem with Patel’s is their small selection of items. They have yet to order my favorite pickled mango brand.
So. Can someone please do me a favor? Gather a couple of investors. Pool some community money. Open up a nice, sprawling Indian store. And keep it neat. I hate me a dirty grocery store. ‘K, thanks.