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SOURCE Phoenicia Specialty Foods
It Started with a Shawarma: Entrepreneurial Family Business Mirrors America's Most Ethnically-Diverse City
HOUSTON, Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Phoenicia Specialty Foods, the iconic Houston destination for international culinary delights, delicious handmade confections and artisan goods, will commemorate 30 years with a celebration of global proportions.
Phoenicia started with a signature shawarma sandwich. Of Armenian descent, founders Arpi and Zohrab Tcholakian fled war-torn Lebanon and their family grocery, and immigrated to the United States. As the oil industry collapsed, Zohrab realized Arpi's shawarma was too good to remain a family recipe and in 1983, they opened Phoenicia Deli, a small Mediterranean-style delicatessen and grocery.
"We had no choice but to go into business for ourselves," says Arpi. The Tcholakians had their finger on the pulse of what became Houston's most heralded quality--its diversity. Customers from all corners of the globe soon requested that Phoenicia carry favorite products from their home countries.
Phoenicia carries over 15,000 products from more than 50 countries at down-to-earth prices. Each market features a unique 150-foot conveyor belt that transports freshly-baked pita bread directly from the ovens on the second floor bakery to hungry customers below. The downtown location is a full-service foodie destination that includes MKT BAR, offering gastropub fare and live music daily. With loyal customers from epicurious food lovers to celebrity chefs, Phoenicia offers something for everyone.
Ahead of the national specialty market trend, Phoenicia mirrors the international diversity of its city and customers. Its customer-centric ethos is key in America's second-fastest growing city, where explosive growth continues to make national news. According to a recent study from the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University led by Dr. Stephen L. Klineberg, Houston is the most ethnically-diverse city in the country.
To celebrate 30 years, both Phoenicia locations will feature month-long giveaways, Armenian-inspired dishes and baked goods. An official anniversary Grocery Get Down celebration is scheduled for Saturday, November 9 at MKT BAR. A portion of the event's proceeds will benefit the Houston Food Bank. Local street artist GONZO247 has also been commissioned to design a commemorative mural in the downtown market.
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For more information about Phoenicia Specialty Foods, visit www.YUMSTOP.com
Contact: Tina Zulu, Zulu Creative
888.520.1789, ext. 1
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