The story of Sahadi's started with Abrahim Sahadi, a Lebanese immigrant who first opened his namesake grocery store in Manhattan in 1895. A few decades later his nephew Wade moved from Lebanon and brought Sahadi's to its current Brooklyn storefront in 1948.
In the 1960's, Wade's son Charlie took over and he's been a smiling friendly face here ever since. Even if you are not one of the regulars who knows Charlie well, you have probably seen him greeting the locals and cracking jokes. Last year Charlie retired and his daughter Christine and son Ron have taken the reigns of the business.
The shop is always filled with regulars who line the bulk section getting bargains on dried fruit, nuts, and some of the best olives in the city. Since it is often very crowded, you have to take a number and it's an amazing time to chat with all the other customers and marvel at how incredibly friendly everyone is here. You automatically feel like one of the family. And it's that small business, family mentality that we highlight on our Brownstone Brooklyn tour in the neighborhood.
Sahadi's is a James Beard-award winning Middle Eastern specialty store that has many imported products and an array of local foodstuffs as well. The main feature of the shop is the large bulk section (full of everything from pepitas to dried rhubarb to chocolate covered espresso beans) which leads into an impressive cheese area. Further in, past the rows of spices and aromatic coffees, you'll find the prepared food section where you can get tubs of their legendary hummus and baba ganoush. On the way to the register, you have to stroll by the sweets and leaving without a piece of halva (a crumbly sesame confection) would be a shame.
In addition to all of these and a selection of packaged groceries, Sahadi's has also been diligent about including products from local producers. This is one place you can buy a full key lime pie from our favorite Steve's in Red Hook or a package of Salty Road's innovative salt water taffy which is made just a few miles down Atlantic Avenue.
At one time, this neighborhood of Brooklyn was home to many Middle Eastern immigrants. While most of them have moved to other areas, they often come back to shop here along with other local New Yorkers that know Sahadi's offers quality products at a reasonable price and with a neighborly atmosphere.
The shop sits right on the border of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill. We love that despite the changing gentrification that has already encroached on this area, Sahadi's remains an independent family business that is a boon to the locals. Those are the kind of stories and small businesses we fight for which is what our Brownstone Brooklyn tour is all about. And while we don't have an official tasting at Sahadi's on our tour due to the crowds every day, we pass by the store and urge guests to come back to visit it another time. They will be very glad they did.
187 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11201