Earlier this week, in need of a whole slew o’ spices that I couldn’t seem to find listed online, I ventured down to the Sahadi’s store in Industry City…and I found an oasis.
I parked right in front. There was no line to get inside. The store was big and airy–not Big Box Store big, but plenty big enough to get space between customers, which numbered less than a dozen.
The Sahadi’s favorites were all there. Little containers of spices. Nuts and dried fruit packed to order. Olive oils and vinegars and chocolates and cheeses and beans and grains.
But wait…there was more.
Produce! Beer and wine! TOILET PAPER!
And no line to check out. I walked right up to the register.
But now, the secret may be out.
A few days ago, Sahadi’s was one of several “small, ethnic stores” featured on the NPR financial program Marketplace in a segment on supply chains and the versatility of smaller stores over big ones.
Imagine a rope running from a grocery store shelf to a food manufacturer. That rope is the grocery store supply chain, and in a time like this, it’s important for that rope to have slack.
“In times of crisis, tight breaks,” said Pat Whelan, who runs the warehouse for the Brooklyn-based grocer Sahadi’s.
The flexibility to quickly swap out suppliers is one definition of “slack” in a supply chain. When one of Sahadi’s longtime suppliers of Jordan almonds shut down a few weeks back, Whelan managed to find a new source over a weekend.
Sahadi’s is also offering online ordering and pick-up at both of its locations (Industry City and Atlantic Avenue). But if you’re missing the familiar sights and smells of a neighborhood staple, and if you can go go out safely, a trip to the store is a welcome respite from the now-all-too-common travails and stresses of even the most quotidian of errands.