Most years I feel like time passes very quickly. This year, I have mixed feelings about the speed of time. We just reached our 1-year milestone at IC and on one hand I cannot believe a whole year has gone by. From breaking ground and thinking we were never going to get open, to the reality of actually being open and working. This year has been a wild one.
Three years and what feels like a million taste tests later, I am finally on the last mile of having the Sahadi's cookbook published. It was amazing to see all of the recipes come to life under the expert team of photographers, stylists and cowriters. Each of the photos and the appendix pages came out beautiful, vibrant and enticing. Colorful bowls of spices intermingled with a bounty of vegetables. The dishes hold so many memories for me and to see them photographed so wonderfully made my heart happy.
Last week we reopened our flagship store on Atlantic Avenue. I cried when we pulled the gates up. I was so emotional and happy. In 70 years, we have had only a handful of unplanned closures and none lasted more than a few days. This closure lasted over 2 months and it felt wonderful to be interacting with the customers again. No longer faceless numbers on our delivery partners' tablet, but real people in the aisles. The look on our staff’s faces said it all. “Welcome back, customers and friends!”
It took me a long time to write this post. Personally and professionally, we have all been hard hit by the current situation. As we tried to figure out this pandemic retail environment, family concerns and staying safe took precedence over marketing and building displays. Work became secondary and only continued because Sahadi’s is an essential business. People worldwide are figuring out what is important to them. Life changed for almost everyone everywhere.
By now we’ve all heard the predictions of an early spring, and I for one, am definitely looking forward to it. It’s been so gloomy these past few months, and I am eager for daylight savings time. I am also itching to get out in my yard for early planting. As I look at my Urfa peppers and Aleppo pepper plants germinating on my sunny kitchen counter, I am already thinking about the wonderful dishes I can make with the harvest this summer.