(l-r) New owners Mohsen Kiani and Sara Noori. Photo by Nicole McPheeters


Local grocery store Sahara Mart experienced several changes in 2020— including name and ownership—but new owner Sara Noori says international offerings will remain the focus at the store, now known as World Foods Market.

“We continue to be a nontraditional grocery store with a focus on unique foods from all over the world—including right here—that you’ve either been missing in your life or never knew that you loved,” says Noori, who bought the business with her husband, Mohsen Kiani. “We decided to change to World Foods Market because we wanted a better fitting name as we start this new chapter in business.”

Having managed the store prior to buying it, Noori says she is enhancing the inventory without changing the broad range of specialty foods, wine, and beer offered in the past. “Some things have been changing gradually over this last year,” she explains, noting the addition of locally fresh-baked Persian and Mediterranean flat breads, as well as more specialty Middle Eastern fare, like pantry staples, spices, herbs, and rice.

Noori says that one of the most popular sections at World Foods Market is the wine selection, so she brought in a consultant, Andreas Hauskrecht, to provide insight. They’ve also added new cooling systems and wine racks to improve the wine storage.

“Our wine consultant hand-selects the wine, so that means every wine that’s brought in, he tastes and evaluates,” she says, noting that Hauskrecht also prepares taste notes for individual wines, which are then displayed for customers to see, enhancing their shopping experience and educating them on complementary food choices.

“Food and wine go very well together,” Noori says. “People who shop for the foods we carry are also interested in wines, and the combination of the two is a natural part of our business.”

Wines are chosen based on quality and value from small wineries and producers
in France, Italy, Spain, and Latin America. “People are not going to be choosing drinking wines that are very high priced,” she explains. “You can find very good wines that are affordable, and that’s sort of our focus.”

For information, find World Foods Market on Facebook.