Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 147 of 217

Patel Brothers Jackson Heights Other staples include Desi yogurt and Maya ghee. Snacks are also available, including Hadram's Chana Jor Garam and Surati Punjab Mix. Teas, such as Tapal, are also regularly stocked at Patel Brothers. The customer base is heavily Indian but includes people from all backgrounds. "We serve the Asian and South Asian population but we also have American and Spanish customers as well," Patel says. "When you compare the prices of dals and rice you will see the difference. We always concentrate on the quality and value." 37-27 74th St., Jackson Heights, N.Y.; 718.898.3445; patelbrothersusa.com Titan Foods Astoria PHOTOS: MEG COTNER Karela For those in the know, the place to buy Indian groceries in Queens is Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights, a store that has been flourishing in the neighborhood for almost 30 years. In its 7,500-square-foot space, Patel Brothers offers a variety of ingredients and implements needed to make most anything in the vast expanse of Indian cuisine, attracting shoppers from both inside and outside the borough. Akash Patel, one of the store's representatives, sees definite favorites among the customers. "Spices like tumeric, chiles, rice, dals and different flours are some of our most popular products," he says. Among the offering are MDH chana masala spice mix; Swad turmeric, toor dal (split peas) and kala chana (chickpeas); and Raja Foods basmati rice at $18.99 for 20 pounds. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also a big draw and include okra karela (bitter melon), fresh mehti (fenugreek), round eggplants and fresh ginger root. Even paan (betel leaves) are available. "When people come to the store, they are impressed by the freshness of the vegetables," Patel notes. Titan Foods (pronounced "teeTAN"), a major Greek specialty market, is often referred to as the Greek Zabar's thanks to its comprehensive selection. In approximately 4,500 square feet, the store sells everything from olives to feta, souvlaki to pastries— fresh and frozen. Launched in 1983, Titan claims itself to be "the largest retail Greek specialty store in North America." Creamy barrel-aged Arahova feta, named for a town in southern Greece, is one of Titan's top sellers. Another popular item is Spitiko extra-virgin olive oil. "It's a very good oil and comes from a part of Greece where all the good oils are from. It's been a big seller for years," says manager Nick Luzis. Another attraction is the bulk olive bar, where customers can purchase different kinds of olives, such as Kalamata and Agriniou, by the pound. Frozen traditional foods are a big draw and include pork and chicken souvlaki from local butchers, as well as pastitsio and spanakopita. Shelves are filled with Fage Greek yogurt, pastas such as Sitos hilopitaki (dry egg pasta), fava beans and Orlando grape leaves. As far as beverage options, Mt. Taygetos sage tea or mountain tea are on hand while, on the other end of the spectrum, Titan carries a range of coffees for making icy frappes, which are among the neighborhood's most popular drinks. Luzis calls the in-store bakery, where both sweet and savory cakes, pies and pastries are baked, "very beloved." There, shoppers can find spanakopita, galaktoboureko (a custard-filled phyllo dessert) and koulouri sesame bread, all baked on the premises. American sweets like cheesecake and carrot cake are also on offer. The store's clientele is diverse, attracting customers of all backgrounds in the neighborhood, and the market serves as a destination for people not only in the five boroughs but also Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia and even as far as Washington, D.C. "People will fly up here just to go to Titan," Luzis says. "[We] cater to anyone who loves Greek food." 25-56 31st St., Astoria,  N.Y.; 718.626.7771; titanfood.com JULY/AUGUST 2013 131

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