Spicing up the West Side
A taste of Pakistan in the Queen City
Zaydoun Alatbeh of Manchester prepares food during a lunch-time rush at the The Spice Center on Valley Street in Manchester. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Business partners Jawed Ali Shaikh of Hooksett and Ali Faraz of Raymond are putting the final touches on Ali Baba Wholefoods Festival & Treasures at 590 Second St., south of Queen City Avenue.
The business will offer 10,000 square feet of wine, gifts, dry goods and prepared foods.
The partners already are looking to expand elsewhere.
The West Side shop will open on Thursday, Oct. 24, with 75 workers already hired, including 35 full-timers.
Ethnic stores are on the rise, he said, partly fueled by refugees settling in New Hampshire. State figures showed 4,150 refugees resettled in the state over a 10-year span ending in September 2012.
The two men also are expanding another store they own, Spice Center, a market offering foods mainly from the Middle East and southeast Asia, on Maple Street.
Spice Center focuses on ethnic foods while Ali Baba will focus on foods with fewer added chemicals.
The store will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
At Spice Market, store shelves are lined with tea from India, pistachios from Turkey, wasabi from Japan and tobacco from Dubai.
People from Arabic cultures make up the store's largest demographic of customers.
"He has unique stuff brought from the Middle East," Almojel said.
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