Savory spin-off: Beloved grocer Sahadi’s to open sister outpost in boro next year

Hummus-town hero! Sahadi’s wins prestigious food award
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Who’s ready for seconds?

Brooklyn Heights grocery store, Sahadi’s, will open a second location next year, its co-owner announced this week, and locals are thrilled that their beloved bulk-goods emporium will serve even more of the borough.

“I think we all love Sahadi’s so having more of it is a terrific thing,” said Peter Bray, president of the Brooklyn Heights Association.

The new outpost of the Atlantic-Avenue grocer known for its bins full of Middle-Eastern delicacies, including nuts, dried figs, spices, and roasted coffee, will offer much of the same selection of goods, and will also boast an open kitchen where patrons can watch food being made, co-owner Christine Whelan revealed at a Crain’s family-business conference on Wednesday.

Whelan said she hopes the second store’s concept and layout will help it compete with bigger online retailers by attracting younger shoppers who seek experiences when they browse a store’s aisles, Crain’s reported.

The co-owner didn’t give an exact location for the new space because she is still negotiating with the property’s owner, but said it will be somewhere between the original storefront and the business’s Sunset-Park warehouse.

Bray — who said he shops at Sahadi’s once a month — had some suggestions for those Brooklynites who will be blessed with its second coming, recommending the grocer’s bins of spices, mango chutney, feta cheese, and halvah — a fudge-like candy made out of sesame paste — which he said he can’t get enough of.

“It’s addictive,” Bray said. “You either love it or you don’t, but if you love it you will be in big trouble.”

Whelan’s grandfather, Wade Sahadi, founded the store in 1948. Her father Charlie, who retired last year, and uncle Bob, who will retire in January, subsequently took it over, and oversaw the original location’s expansion before handing day-to-day operations over to Whelan and her brother, Ron, in 2016. It became a neighborhood institution during its almost 70 years in business, most recently winning the coveted James Beard America’s Classics award in January.

Another Brooklyn Heights resident also praised the store for its vast selection, and admitted that it’s also a great place to pig out.

“I go when I feel like having great food I shouldn’t be eating,” said Andrew Porter.

And although he won’t frequent the new shop because he can walk to the original location, Porter said he’s excited that more Kings Countians will get a taste of what Sahadi’s serves up.

For other people deeper into Brooklyn it will be a good deal,” he said.

Whelan did not respond to requests for comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill