India Food Emporium Brings Exotic Flavors to Town

Whether you’re already a fan of Indian cuisine or just looking for some new ideas for dinner time, you should check out the India Food Emporium. The store, which opened about four months ago at 17796 Detroit Avenue, specializes in Indian foods that you won’t find at your average grocery store. Proprietor Mona Lisa says, “We have a lot of ready-to-eat items and frozen foods, and also a lot of the ingredients to make your own dishes. We have fresh rotis, which is Indian pita bread. We also have home-made meal and Indian Cheese that no one else carries. We also have more common things; fresh produce like ginger, tomatoes, and all that. I have ice cream, including mango ice cream. We have a wide variety of spices and a wide variety of jasmine and basmati rice. And we have a lot of vegan and vegetarian items.”

Mona Lisa likes to go the extra mile when it comes to service, too.
“I will talk with people and help with recipes, so if people don’t know how to cook the dishes, I can help them," she says. "In a lot of grocery stores, you don’t get personal care. Especially in Indian grocery stores, that’s the tendency. You just go and shop around. But here I always help people. That’s really my specialty at the store.” She’s also happy to explain the health benefits of various food items.

In addition to food, the store carries an assortment of gift items, phone cards, and CDs of Indian music. And one other thing they offer that you aren’t likely to find anywhere else - a wide assortment of Indian movies for rent on DVD. The movies are all subtitled, so whether you speak the language or are just a foreign film buff, you’ll be able to enjoy them.

As for why she picked Lakewood for her store, Mona Lisa says, “It’s very diverse, for sure. Lakewood is a friendly place, that’s what I’ve realized.”
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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 12:12 AM, 01.27.07