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Phoenicia Specialty Foods: Worldwide Grocery Plus Pita Bread Factory

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Phoenicia Specialty Foods, Houston, Texas (Westheimer location)

Phoenicia Specialty Foods, Houston, Texas (Westheimer location)

Grocery Shopping Adventure!

People from many cultures call Houston home, and that is where Phoenicia Specialty Foods is located. It is, indeed, an ethnic melting pot. People like eating familiar foods they enjoy. It is helpful for them to be able to find those foods and international ingredients with which to replicate favorite dishes in their home kitchens.

It is also fun to experience new foods. We have countless restaurants of many types in our Houston metro area, and new ones are opening all of the time.

Phoenicia Houston fits the bill for offering over 15,000 products from 50-plus countries, according to their website. They also provide in-store dining for shoppers who wish to have a snack or a more substantial meal.

Eat-in cafe in the store

Eat-in cafe in the store

Gigantic Store!

The 55,000 square-foot market and distribution headquarters at 12141 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 77007, is the closest location to where we live. It is the one most frequented by my husband and me. It is always an adventure when we shop and visit there.

Origins and Expansions

We had shopped at their original store in western Houston years ago, which only consisted of 2,500 square feet. Bob and Arpi Tcholakian started their business in 1983. They moved to the Westheimer locale in 2006 and are now also established in downtown Houston. Their establishment keeps growing and is family operated.

Phoenicia in West Houston provides browsing, dining, and shopping fun on a grand scale combining warehousing along with retail space. In that sense, it is much like Costco, but the offerings are much more exotic. They also have many more selections of items.

If you are looking for olive oil, as an example, you will probably have 50 or more from which to choose. The same is true for teas and other items.

Retail plus warehouse space

Retail plus warehouse space

Grocery Departments

Departments within the store include many of the usual things found in grocery stores such as produce, meats, fish, cheeses, spices, canned and jarred items as well as freshly prepared foods. But they go much further, representing an array of middle eastern grocery staples as well as European delicacies not found in many other grocery stores in the area.

They also sell a vast assortment of cookware and home goods. People come from near and distant places to shop there once they discover this gem of a specialty food store.

Pita Bread Conveyor Belt

What makes Phoenicia Houston genuinely stand apart from other grocery stores, aside from their unique global offerings, is their in-house pita bread factory. People can watch the puffed up pitas, fresh out of the oven, coming down a conveyor belt, and being packaged up on site.

Pitas and Other Offerings

We often purchase a package of the mini pitas (12 pieces for $1.99). Included among other types of bread offerings are the Mediterranean ones, which are available in the store.

  • Palestinian Bread
  • Old-Country Armenian Madnakash
  • Whole Wheat Tannour Bread (Naan)
  • Jumbo Pitas
  • Simit (Kaak) Bread
  • Herbed Cheese Bread Armenian Style

Meet the owners of Phoenicia by watching the video below, which was filmed at the downtown location.

Foodie Delight!

Anyone who considers themselves to be a foodie should enjoy shopping at Phoenicia in Houston. They are open every day of the year except for Christmas. It is an eye-opening adventure into the world of international culinary foods and exotic delights.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 17, 2020:

Hi Eldon,

I have not had the pleasure of visiting their downtown location, but enjoy the one out on Westheimer. Yes, their freshly made pita bread is delicious! Thanks for your comment.

Eldon on August 17, 2020:

I have visited both of their Houston stores. The array of foods from around the world is amazing and the breads from the conveyor are always delicious.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 09, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

It is truly an eye-opening experience seeing all that there is to offer in Phoenicia.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 08, 2020:

Hi Peg,

Their bakery department is stellar! (Smile)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 08, 2020:

Hi Linda,

We have other stores like Costco and Sams that are retail establishments, but also warehouses. So it is not that unusual, at least in these areas. The desserts are delicious. I can personally vouch for them.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 08, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

They have seating in the grocery store/warehouse, and they also have a separate restaurant in the front of the building. We have eaten there several times, and the food is delicious.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 08, 2020:

I would love to shop at this store. The pita bread looked great and the huge variety of items would be fun to see.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on May 07, 2020:

What an interesting place this is. I caught myself looking way too long at the bakery offerings. Now, I'm hungry. Thanks for sharing this delightful grocery store.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 06, 2020:

This sounds like a fascinating place to explore. The combination of a store and a warehouse is an interesting concept. I love the sight of the pita bread. The desserts look delicious!

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 06, 2020:

This looks like quite a grocery store. I can only imagine what the restaurant would look like or the dining experience would be like. Yum.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 04, 2020:

Hi Patricia,

Phoenicia is a great store to find items you might not find elsewhere. Hope you get to see it someday.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 04, 2020:

Hi Mary,

With your world travels and culinary adventures, I am sure that you would enjoy these international grocery store offerings.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 04, 2020:

Hi Ann,

Your comment is so true! Even if living here all one's life, it would be impossible to see and experience everything in Houston.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on May 04, 2020:

Peggy, this sounds like such an adventure. I love to browse and I know I would enjoy this so very much. Another place that I hope to visit on my next return to Houston. Once again many angels are coming. Hugs and blessings.ps

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 04, 2020:

It must really be fun to shop in this place. Fresh almonds and persimmons. I wish I can have them often.

Ann Carr from SW England on May 04, 2020:

This looks amazing, Peggy. It's making my mouth water. Your home town has so many amazing places to go. You could live there for ever and have a different venue to see each day!

Ann

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 04, 2020:

Hi Lorna,

I also think that their pita bread prices are very reasonable. It is enjoyable buying them fresh and still warm after being packaged. Phoenicia is a fun place to visit!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 04, 2020:

Hi Adrienne,

I grew up in small towns but moved to Houston for my first job, and except for four years have lived here ever since. I do love the variety of venues a city offers.

Lorna Lamon on May 04, 2020:

I love the idea of this store with produce from other parts of the world. The bread prices look very reasonable to me and so fresh. Great to have this under one roof.

Adrienne Farricelli on May 03, 2020:

This store in Houston is big! I miss going to large stores being that we are in a small town and there is not too much variety offered. I enjoyed reading this and the pita bread looks good!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 03, 2020:

Hi Bill,

We love eating stuffed grape leaves also. They have a variety of homemade ones, as you can see in my one photo, and they also have canned ones.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on May 03, 2020:

Wow, this looks great. If we had one in our area we would shop there. You had me at the stuffed grape leaves. The pitas can’t get much fresher than this.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 03, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Yes, Phoenicia is a distinctly different type of shopping experience compared to the norm. We are lucky to have them here in Houston.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 03, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Watching the pita pieces of bread rolling down the conveyer belt makes this store uniquely different. We go there when we wish to buy some items, not ordinarily carried in regular grocery stores. The selections are amazing!

Liz Westwood from UK on May 03, 2020:

Wow, this looks and sounds like a very different store.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 03, 2020:

You lost me on this one. I don't do huge! Far too many people for this boy, I'm afraid. I'll leave those scenes for people braver than me.

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