Jimmy Abdumek moved to the United States from Egypt four years ago. Since he’s lived in Carmel, he said it’s been difficult to find the proper groceries to cook Mediterranean cuisine.
Of course, there are some specialty, ethnic food items at upscale grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Fresh Market, EarthFare, Market District and the newly remodeled Kroger. But Abdumek said there are some things — like real mango juice — that just aren’t the same.
That’s why he opened Grace Grocery. It’s a small shop with a deli counter and a few aisles of imported items. It’s located next to a skateboard shop and in the same shopping center, Monon Square, as clothing stores, a vacuum cleaner store and a chiropractor’s office. But what Grace Grocery lacks in pizazz, Abdumek said it makes up for in charm and authenticity.
“You can’t find this stuff anywhere,” he said. “This is the first store like this in Carmel.”
He said his items are reasonably priced, with many items costing less than $5. He has a variety of spices, baked goods, meats, sauces, beverages, olives, varieties of hummus and garnishes.
Some unique offerings include smoked watermelon seeds, quail meat, rabbit, Mortadella Italian sausage and grape leaves.
“A lot of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean customers come in,” he said. “But I also have American customers, and they are very good to me.”
Grace Grocery is at 620 S. Range Line Rd. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 7 p.m. Sundays.