Honored with a Houston Foodie Star Award, Phoenicia Specialty Foods takes home top honors. Read more.
Archive for October, 2013
We’re celebrating 30 years of business this year by hosting a week-long bash at both our West Houston and Downtown locations. November 4-10th, we’ll host an anniversary fete or two, have customer giveaways, feature Armenian-inspired dishes and baked goods at Phoenicia and MKT BAR, and serve YUMMY! in-store samples. We’ll take you back to the 80s with morning-to-night jams from the era and also celebrate artfully at our Downtown location with a little help from GONZO247 in the commemorative mural department.
We’ve got a whole list of fun things to do. See for yourself below.
Wednesday, November 6th, 7-9PM – We’ll honor Mama and Papa Tcholakian during Friends & Fam Night at MKT BAR. Enjoy a traditional Armenian-Lebanese buffet and music by Guest DJ Craig T. Brown of Heights Vinyl, playing eclectic beats with international flair.
Friday-Sunday, November 8-10 – Treat yourself to free cupcakes at our Downtown and West Houston locations. Valid while the YUMMY!-NESS lasts!
Saturday, November 9 10AM-3PM – Special Anniversary MKT Brunch at MKT BAR. We’re serving a new menu, whipping up new cocktails and will feature live music by Nick Gaitan from noon to 3PM.
Saturday, November 9 – 1983 Grocery Get Down at MKT BAR
Sunday, November 10, 10AM-3PM – If you miss Saturday’s Special Anniversary MKT Brunch, stop by on Sunday to enjoy the new brunch menu, cocktails and live music by the Thomas Helton Trio from noon to 3PM.
Phoenicia started as a dream of our founders, Arpi and Zohrab Tcholakian, who are both very involved in the business today. The dream began in 1978 when they immigrated to Houston from Lebanon. Both of Armenian descent, the couple uprooted their family in hopes of providing a more promising life for their children. Zohrab was able to secure a position as an architectural engineer soon after arriving in the U.S. With the 1982 oil-industry collapse, three children to feed and expenses to pay, he decided to embrace his roots. Having worked in his father’s small shop in Lebanon, the grocery business was in his blood. He chose to invest in a small sandwich shop and deli. What all started with a shawarma, didn’t stay small for long.
Zohrab and Arpi combined their love of food, family and friends into a humble 2500-square-foot space named Phoenicia Deli. Growth was slow initially, but demand for a greater selection of imported foods was undeniable. As the overall diversity and concentration of different ethnicities in Houston grew, so did the demand for Phoenicia’s products. In 1993, Zohrab opened a 5,000-square-foot version of Phoenicia Specialty Foods in the center next door to the existing business. Expanding from the staple Mediterranean goods, it soon transitioned to carry Western European, then Eastern European products and eventually African, Asian and South American products. This was the start of what Zohrab envisioned: “The International Food Market of Your Dreams!” The business was able to grow in large part to wholesale distribution of the products Phoenicia imported directly to restaurants and other grocers. Soon, the retail customer base ballooned and the opening of a larger 55,000-square-foot facility across Westheimer Road was warranted.
The Tcholakian’s owe much of their success to their ability to adapt to customers’ desires over the years and appeal to a wide variety of people. The emergence of “foodies” across the U.S. and Americans’ openness to non-traditional cuisines helped solidify Phoenicia’s identity. This amazing husband-and-wife team has poured the past 30 years of their lives into the business. Even in their golden years, they show no signs of slowing down. Yet, this modest couple never forgets what is important: family, friends and wonderful employees that are like family. Zohrab and Arpi beam with pride as they talk about their three children, Raffi, Ann-Marie and Haig, and how integral they have been and continue to be to Phoenicia’s success. Also doting and loving grandparents, Zohrab and Arpi always have a moment to share with their adorable granddaughters.
We’re going to party like it’s 1983!
Join us at MKT BAR on November 9th from 8PM-2AM as we celebrate turning 30 during our 1983 Grocery Get Down. DJ Portal Walker and The Spicolis will play radical 80s jams, while you, dressed in 80s garb and with 80s attitude, nosh on complimentary 80s-inspired light bites and enjoy boutique wine, craft beer and MKT BAR cocktail specials. Local entertainer and YouTube sensation Montrose Rollerblade Dancer will jump-start the ’80s-inspired festivities with surprise guest appearances during the week at Phoenicia Downtown, before his grand finale performance at the Grocery Get Down.
A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit the Houston Food Bank.
Admission is FREE and tickets are limited.
Register at 1983GroceryGetDown.EventBrite.com
Complimentary 80s-Inspired Gourmet Light Bites
-Crab Salad on Endive
-Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos
-Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler punch
-Boutique Wine/ Craft Beer Specials + MKT BAR Cocktails
As a proud sponsor of Society for the Performing Arts, we’re treating two lucky winners to dinner at MKT BAR, then sending them on to a breathtaking show that evening. We’ll select two winners each night for the following shows:
Each winner will receive a $50 YUMMY! Gift Card, good toward dinner for two at MKT BAR, plus a pair of tickets to one of the shows above. Winners will pick up show tickets at the SPA will-call window the night of the performance.
The contest ends Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 at 5PM CST.
Saturday, October 26
Thursday, October 31
Bring your bone appetit for TWO celebrations with ghostly goodies and festive fun, courtesy of your YUMMY! Crew.
Complimentary Scary Snacks
* BBQ Babies’ Back Ribs
* Buffalo Bat Wings
* Graveyard Gorgonzola Spread on Creepy Crostini
* Roaches on a Log
* 7- Layer Spider Web Dip
* Devil Eggs
* Guacamoldy w/ Tombstone Chips
Potions for Purchase
* Smokin’ Sangria ($4 glass, $20 carafe)
* Vampire Wine Specials
* Pumpkin Gelato
Costume Contest & Prizes
How exciting! The readers of OutSmart Magazine have spoken and voted Phoenicia Specialty Foods as a finalist for Best Specialty Food Store.