Want a taste of the exotic? Queen Village Food Market, located on the corner of 4th and Bainbridge Streets, offers an assortment of Turkish, Israeli and Greek groceries. Turkish native, Muharrem "John" Atalan, established the corner store market three years ago.
At 25 years old, Atalan had no previous experience with owning a market but he had high ambitions. After his store’s first year of success, Atalan created a “wish list” for customers to provide open feedback about the store. “I accept all criticisms as a gift,” said Atalan. The wish list was an ultimate learning lesson for Atalan and in return, the neighborhood has continued to support his business.
Atalan has created a hybrid Mediterranean and American grocery store that appeals to both locals and immigrants. “70% of customers are local and the rest are a mixture of immigrants and people from out of state,” said Atalan.
One special item found at the market is apricots from Atalan’s hometown in Turkey. “My focus is to bring ethnic food to Americans,” said Atalan.
Since the market’s establishment, two other Turkish-owned businesses have opened in the area. “After being here, S & H Kebab House and Café Fulya have opened,” said Atalan. The young business owner hopes to continue to expand his business by opening another store in the future. For now, if you're looking to try something new or in the mood for quick snack, stop by Queen Village Food Market and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
By Emily Clymer
Team 14: South Philadelphia