Behind the Scenes at Sahadi's

Owning and operating a specialty food store means wearing a lot of hats. Today, I spent the better part of the day doing one of my favorite tasks: evaluating new products! Sometimes if the supplier is local, a new product will get evaluated immediately. Other times products come unsolicited, just sent in by mail or dropped off, and some are requested by our stellar staff. It's a busy juggling act at Sahadi's, so there are times when the products pile up a bit. Today, it was time to have a tasting!!

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As you can see these items were an eclectic mix of jams, chocolates, crackers, pickles, bulk ingredients, chips, cereal and candy. Some of these items came home with me for further cooking and evaluating like the Persian Saffron. It had a gorgeous color and texture, but we will see how the rice cooks up with it.

A few items were completely new to the market: Dill Pickle and Moroccan Spice Pita Chips? Verdict: genuinely spicy and delicious!

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The dried beans will need to be fully cooked to enjoy, but I managed to plow my way through the chocolates, honey, jams and crackers. I suppose the beautiful olive oils and pickles will have to wait for next week.

So many factors go into selecting which products make it onto our shelves. A few factors that are always top of mind are market need and the number of items already stocked in that section. Packaging and price are also carefully considered. We make a point of giving a little more space to small or local producers. In the end, if quality and taste are not tops and the item is not special or unique, we will pass on it. While not every item makes our shelves, we thoroughly enjoy all of the carefully made and wonderfully presented samples that hit our desks. It's definitely one of the perks of this job.