Phoenicia’s #YUMANDTELL Challenge
The international food market of your dreams.

About Us

The International Food Market of Your Dreams…

Our premier, family-owned, one-stop, gourmet international food market offers food lovers more than 20,000 products from more than 50 countries, at down-to-earth prices.

Phoenicia Specialty Foods is a dream that started modestly in 1983. Arpi and Zohrab Tcholakian, formerly of Lebanon, and of Armenian descent, opened Phoenicia Deli, a 2,500 square foot, Mediterranean-style delicatessen and grocery, on Westheimer Road, in Houston, Texas. Zohrab convinced Arpi that it would be best for them to pursue their passion for food and not wait for the lay-offs that awaited those in Zohrab’s engineering profession during the collapse of the oil industry in the 1980s. Zohrab as a child enjoyed working in his father’s corner grocery store in Lebanon. The business came very natural to them, and despite the economic downturn of the 1980s, the Tcholakian’s were determined and created a loyal following. Phoenicia Deli still flourishes as a restaurant just across the street from where it once originated and is now called Arpi’s Phoenicia Deli after the matriarch of the family.

In 1992, Phoenicia Deli leased a space to store the many imported goods they were receiving. Soon, retail and wholesale customers started going to the storage space for a case of their desired, hard-to-find specialty items, and eventually this grocery storage space became a specialty foods market. In 2006, Phoenicia Specialty Foods was born, a 55,000 square foot international food market that sat across the street from the deli. The enterprise has continued to grow ever since, thanks to loyal Phoenicia customers. The state-of-the-art market is equipped with three conveyor belts that transport freshly baked pita and flatbreads from the market’s mezzanine bakery to customers on the ground floor. Much of Phoenicia’s success has been due to importing power that has kept prices reasonable for patrons. Every day Phoenicia improves because of a commitment to hear customer requests. Also, Phoenicia prides itself in producing sought-after gourmet foods in-house, with freshness and quality in mind.

Phoenicia Specialty Foods in Downtown Houston is a 28,000 square foot, state-of-the-art market that opened its doors in November 2011 at the One Park Place luxury high-rise, across from Discovery Green park. The market became Downtown Houston’s first grocery store in over 40 years. Urban residents and workers now have a one-stop shop stocked with all of the market’s signature food favorites. These include prepared meals, sandwich station, salad bar, olive bar, espresso bar and a bakery with European and Mediterranean desserts and breads, prepared daily by experienced chefs. The market also features a fresh pizza corner, quality meats and cheeses, and gourmet gelatos. Phoenicia Foods Downtown also features MKT BAR, an in-house gastro-pub that accommodates as many as 260 guests. This hip, urban hangout is the perfect stop before the theater, after a sporting event, or just to enjoy a tasty night out. Phoenicia Foods Downtown is a unique destination for Houstonians, foodies and visitors alike (with the convenience of a complimentary, onsite-parking garage). In addition, catering and delivery are available for downtown neighbors.

Among many honors, Phoenicia Specialty Foods has been named one of the Top 10 Food Markets in the United States by Saveur magazine, and My Table magazine has named Phoenicia “Best Grocery Store.” Samantha Brown, travel host, has visited Phoenicia in her PBS show Places to Love. We hope you will come and experience the first hand!