Mukesh and Bharti Patel opened Bombay Grocery on Packard eleven years ago, and they’ve had an eye toward expansion for some time. They bought a vacant lot a few doors down in 2007, but then, in a deal too good to pass up, Fantasy Attic’s old building came up for sale, and they bought that too (the lot is still vacant with no plans for development at present). The new Bombay Grocery opened in early August. It’s sparkling white, with 6,000 square feet of floor-to-ceiling shelves of Indian groceries.
A quiet and polite couple from the state of Gujarat, the Patels are grocers, not talkers. They were stocking shelves the first week of August and pointed out what they thought might be some things of interest. “No one can beat us on spices,” they agreed. Cinnamon sticks are $2.49 for 3.5 ounces; a well-sealed bottle of the pungent asafetida, $2.99 for the same weight. “We use it in all curries,” Bharti said. A sixty-four-ounce jar of ghee is $21.99. She showed off some beautiful copper water carafes, said to be good for you (the copper leaches into the water). And, Bharti says, Indian cooks like convenience food as much as anyone else–they have aisles and freezers full of packaged sauces and frozen samosas–the Indian equivalents of Hamburger Helper and TV dinners.
Bombay Grocery, 3010 Packard. 971-7707. Mon. 3-9 p.m., Tues.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.