May 19, 2024

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Rich in flavour, Persian Market rolls out welcome mat

‘The goods we offer are not found in other stores in Barrie. If I had to pick, I would say nuts and sweets are sold the most, along with the hot takeout food,’ says owner

If you live in Barrie and are looking for Persian food, chances are you’ll drop by the newly opened Persian Market sometime soon.

Operating since February, the shop is already a hub for Middle Eastern expat communities and international food enthusiasts.

“The Iranian community is growing in Barrie and there is no Iranian store in town,” owner Bhzad Kamyab tells BarrieToday.

Along with a unique, high-quality food selection, Kamyab vows to offer a hospitable atmosphere to all who pass through the door, whether a homesick Middle Eastern newcomer or a lover of the distinctive savoury and sweet taste of Iranian products and dishes.

In fact, Kamyab believes that camaraderie is the most important offering in his store. He and his wife, Zohreh Ahmadi, who have both been in the food business for a long time, pride themselves on developing lasting relationships with each customer, ensuring everyone feels welcome and valued.

“We enjoy talking to people and have developed friendships with most of our customers. They call me and my wife by our first names, and we know most of them by name, too,” he says. 

The couple also likes to promote the idea that customers always come first.

“We are not here just to do business. We enjoy socializing with people,” Kamyab says. 

Customers entering the Persian Market will find not only shelf goods, but also fresh Iranian specialty dishes for takeout every Friday and Saturday. Among the most popular dishes are the Ghormehsabzi stew with rice as well as Ghaymeh stew with rice.

Displayed on the shelves are typical Middle Eastern products from back home, such as smoked rice, naan-style bread, dried apricots, pistachios, and halal deli meat.

“Honestly, all our products are popular. The goods we offer are not found in other stores in Barrie. If I had to pick, I would say nuts and sweets are sold the most, along with the hot takeout food,” Kamyab says. 

Kamyab mostly relies on traditional Iranian importers to supply his store as he found it’s not an easy task to find most Persian products in Canada.

So far, Iranians and Afghans are the most regular customers at the store, but other nationalities are gradually coming in more often, says Kamyab: “It’s definitely getting broader.”

For many people in the area who know about Iran only through news reports, stopping by the new Iranian food store in town is a rare opportunity to taste a cuisine that has been around for centuries.

Kamyab challenges those who are not familiar with Persian food to give it a try.

“Iranian snacks, sweets and food are great. Anyone who has tried it can no longer resist it,” he says. 

Proud to have opened ‘the first and only Iranian store in Barrie,’ Kamyab is especially excited about introducing Middle Eastern mouth-watering recipes to local residents, and getting them thinking of Iran in a new way.

To find Bhzad and Zohreh’s repertoire of Persian specialties, visit the Persian Market at 237 Mapleview Dr. E., Unit 2.