Sahadi’s to Open in Sunset Park

Sahadi’s co-owner Christine Sahadi Whelan and her husband Pat. (Photo via Brooklyn Reporter)

The James Beard Award-winning grocery store Sahadi’s will bring its famed spices, hummus, falafel, and other Middle Eastern food items to Sunset Park’s Industry City, where it will open its second location this year or in early 2019.

Co-owner Christine Sahadi Whelan spoke with Jaime DeJesus of Brooklyn Reporter about the expansion of Sahadi’s, which has been located on Atlantic Avenue, and family-owned, since 1948.

Sustaining a family business is difficult in the changing economic climate. Somehow Sahadi’s has managed to grow when most businesses have folded. Sahadi Whelan attributes that to dedication.

“We really are a family business. We’re all involved all the time,” she said. “We’re always on the floor. Our staff is part of a connected family. We are multicultural and we all genuinely love what we do. We try to change with the times and when we adapt, we also try to stay true to our roots. We are a Lebanese family, with a Mediterranean culture, but we are Brooklynites and we try to blend together that Lebanese hospitality and that Brooklyn feeling. We want the customers leaving here feeling good. Shopping shouldn’t be a chore. It should be an experience. I want you to come in and try something new that you haven’t had before.”

Why did Sunset Park seem like a good fit? How is the new location going to be different from the original store? Read more from Sahadi Whelan at Brooklyn Reporter.

In Brooklyn Paper’s coverage of the news, Julianne McShane describes the Sunset Park location as “a more-than-a-football-field-sized store with an open kitchen, bar, and event space.” She provided some history on the 70-year-old business.

Whelan’s grandfather, Wade Sahadi, founded the store in 1948 as a reincarnation of the Manhattan market his great uncle, a Lebanese immigrant, launched in 1895. Whelan’s father, Charlie, and uncle, Bob, later took over the shop, and oversaw the original location’s expansion in 1985. The pair expanded to a third storefront about 25 years later, and the duo handed the day-to-day operations over to Whelan and her brother Ron in 2016. The store has become a neighborhood institution during its decades in business, and even took home the coveted James Beard award for awesomeness last January.

Find out what is planned for the Sunset Park location, at Brooklyn Paper.

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