A new grocery store specializing in hard-to-find items from various cultures opened last month in Roanoke.
Roanoke Grocery Market has shelves stocked with more than 1,100 items and also features a halal butcher and bakery producing items like savory pies.
Owner Hisham Al-Ammuri said when he moved to Roanoke from Washington, D.C., he noticed that certain foods, particularly Mediterranean items, were difficult to find. By carrying items consumers previously had to travel out of town to buy, his store not only makes their shopping easier but also allows for reinvestment in their community, he said.
“This store is meant for the entire community. It’s not meant for one specific type of people,” Al-Ammuri said. “Our goal is really to serve the entire community of Roanoke, regardless of where they come from.”
Al-Ammuri said his store is focused on food and does not offer alcohol or tobacco products.
The bakery plans to expand its offerings once more equipment arrives, but Al-Ammuri said the store already produces hundreds of meat, spinach and cheese pies a day. They’ve quickly become favorites among customers, with some calling to order them in advance, and they regularly sell out.
Since the savory pies are affordably priced — some are only 99 cents — Al-Ammuri said customers can eat well for just $5. Two to three pies can typically make a meal.