Phoenicia Specialty Foods: Worldwide Grocery Plus Pita Bread Factory

Updated on May 5, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Phoenicia Specialty Foods, Houston, Texas (Westheimer location)
Phoenicia Specialty Foods, Houston, Texas (Westheimer location) | Source

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 | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tiny Lady appleFresh almondsFuyu persimmons
Tiny Lady apple
Tiny Lady apple | Source
Fresh almonds
Fresh almonds | Source
Fuyu persimmons
Fuyu persimmons | Source

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 | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Butcher shopKabobs ready to be cooked in-store or at homeDeli department . . . we love those stuffed grape leaves!Self-serve olive barFabulous dessert offerings from baklava to European pastriesFabulous dessert offerings from baklava to European pastriesFree samples . . . we really like their olive tapenade and babaganoush.
Butcher shop
Butcher shop | Source
Kabobs ready to be cooked in-store or at home
Kabobs ready to be cooked in-store or at home | Source
Deli department . . . we love those stuffed grape leaves!
Deli department . . . we love those stuffed grape leaves! | Source
Self-serve olive bar
Self-serve olive bar | Source
Fabulous dessert offerings from baklava to European pastries
Fabulous dessert offerings from baklava to European pastries | Source
Fabulous dessert offerings from baklava to European pastries
Fabulous dessert offerings from baklava to European pastries | Source
Free samples . . . we really like their olive tapenade and babaganoush.
Free samples . . . we really like their olive tapenade and babaganoush. | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pita bread coming down the conveyor belt inside of the storePita bread coming down the conveyor belt Workers packaging up the freshly baked pita breadPita bread coming down the conveyor belt
Pita bread coming down the conveyor belt inside of the store
Pita bread coming down the conveyor belt inside of the store | Source
Pita bread coming down the conveyor belt
Pita bread coming down the conveyor belt | Source
Workers packaging up the freshly baked pita bread
Workers packaging up the freshly baked pita bread | Source
Pita bread coming down the conveyor belt
Pita bread coming down the conveyor belt | Source

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.

5 stars for Phoenicia Specialty Foods

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

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

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Peg,

      Their bakery department is stellar! (Smile)

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

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

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      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.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      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 profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 months ago from USA

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Patricia,

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

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

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

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 months ago from North Central Florida

      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

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 months ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 months ago from SW England

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      3 months ago

      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.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      3 months ago

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      3 months ago from Massachusetts

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

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

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      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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