Brooklyn Heights business recognized for serving community for 75 years

The Middle Eastern market has called Atlantic Avenue home since the 1940s. The store has now been recognized on the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry.

News 12 Staff

Jan 6, 2023, 1:38 AM

Updated 499 days ago

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A Brooklyn Heights business was recognized for its decades serving the community.
The business’s full name is Sahadi's Importing Company, but residents probably just know it as Sahadi's.
The Middle Eastern market has called Atlantic Avenue home since the 1940s. The store has now been recognized on the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry.
"Just a love for food, and that's what he knew. My grandfather started the business in 1941 in Manhattan, and then he came over here in 1948," says Sahadi's managing director Ron Sahadi.
Sahadi's has now been in business for 75 years, for four generations. It has also just won an award.
Per the New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, businesses nominated for the award must follow a long criterion, which includes having remained in operation in New York for at least 50 years, while also demonstrating a contribution to the municipality's history and identity.
Customers say the mom-and-pop shop offered items that were not readily available anywhere. They call it an important part of the community.
"We bring in stuff from all over the world. We're very well known for our bulk department. Nuts and fruits, cheeses, hummus, our zaatar bread, chickpeas, tahini," Sahadi says.
One of the store's best sellers is olives. Sahadi says their warehouse supplies over 30 different types of olives a week coming from Greece, Italy and Morocco.
Their fresh array of ingredients have been a favorite in the neighborhood for over half a century, but it was not always easy.
"We had some challenges here. It's hard to have a muti-generational business these days," Sahadi says. "I remember at, right after 9/11, I remember that week a bunch of school kids came in, my father was still running most of the business, and a class came in. Some teachers brought some kids around and they wanted to show their support, for us being part of the Arab community. They wanted to show their support for us and they came and wanted to give well wishes, thank us for being a part of the community and that meant a lot to us as a family,"
Through it all, Sahadi's loyal customers have stayed by its side.
"The area's changed, a lot of old faces, but also a lot of new, younger consumer base moving in now. It's nice to see the transition from the old style to the newer faces that you see," Sahadi says.
Sahadi adds that he foresees the business to remain a staple for more generations to come.


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