Ann Arbor gets a taste of India

October 1, 2012 by  

Patel Brothers, a family-owned chain of Indian markets that started out with a single store on Chicago’s Devon Avenue, opened a new store in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Friday, September 28. This marks the Patels’ 48th location in the United States and their fourth in Michigan.

Rakesh Patel, the store’s owner, explains that Indian food is becoming increasingly popular with Americans, who now comprise approximately 15% of the chain’s clientele. This comes as no surprise to the many foodies who are addicted to the delicious curries, biryanis, samosas, and other Indian dishes now available in the U.S.

The Patels’ new market displays their slogan over the door –‘Celebrating our food…our culture’, which indicates that customers will find such Indian items as spices, rice, beans, vegetables and exotic fruits for sale inside. Many of these are imported, and bear the label ‘Swad’ – a Hindi word meaning ‘taste’.

The Ann Arbor opening is the result of customers’ requests, says Patel, who reveals that customers at other stores were enquiring whether there were any plans to open a store in the city. Research discovered enough potential in Ann Arbor to support the additional market. It was originally planned to open three months ago but construction and weather difficulties delayed the opening. To make up for that, the market opened with what Patel described as “a blowout sale.”

The store is located at 3426 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, and is open seven days a week from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. Patel Markets could no doubt have used posters, flyers and brochures tucked into mailings to announce their new store to Ann Arbor customers.