Numerous dry spices and dry beans are available as well as prepared chutneys and premixed spice packs and meals. The spice aisle smelled of cloves. Lovely! There is a great fresh produce section, large freezer section, canned, bagged and MRE packs. Sandalwood soap is easily found in their non-food section, which has some charming Hindu ritual items as well. Long grain Basmati is sold for under a $1 /LB. They even sell tiffin sets if you're tired of brown bagging it. Don't forget to look for the cricket bats.
This excerpt is from New York Daily Photo blogspot:
Welcome to the only Indian food chain in the United States. The Patel Brothers now have 35 stores across the US, primarily along the eastern seaboard with stores also in Detroit, Houston and Indianapolis. They distribute Raja Foods and Swad ("taste" in Hindi). All total they are doing $140 million in sales annually. The business was started in 1974 by Talashi and Mafat Patel when they bought a small Indian store on Devon Avenue in Chicago. Mafat came to the US on an engineering scholarship and worked for Exxon as an electronic engineer, a position he kept until the late 1980s. I always thought of this type of store as unique to NYC, so it is surprising to learn that the Indian community has grown to such an extent to support all these retail locations. Indians have been very successful in this country - they are the second largest Asian group after the Chinese, the second most prosperous group after the Jewish-American and highly educated - according to the 2000 census, 64% have a bachelors degree or more. With 90% of the product line from India or Pakistan, a location in an Indian Neighborhood, a staff and customers dominated by Indian-Americans gives one an immediate sense of a seriously AUTHENTIC ethnic atmosphere when entering this store. With an entire aisle of rice - more brands than I knew existed - a section devoted to ghee, and of course enormous sections for spices and beans - these guys have no competition ...NEW YORK DAILY PHOTO