Food | Local

New market offers variety of global, kosher specialty foods just in time for Pesach

On April 1, Inbal Shtivi posted this photo of kosher for Passover items she purchased at the Al Basha grocery store on the Kosher in Tucson Facebook group page. Shtivi is the director of Tucson’s Weintraub Israel Center. (Inbal Shtivi)

Al Basha’s Grant Road grocery store is like a mom and pop corner shop. The neatly stacked shelves are brimming with a variety of global goodies, in these days when finding well-stocked market shelves is a challenge. And, there’s no price gouging here — the prices are extremely reasonable.

Sudanese entrepreneur-owner Anas Elazrag opened the doors in August with the idea of bringing Tucson’s community together, specializing in kosher and halal goods.

Indeed the clientele is international. Shopping at one particular moment last week there was a steady flow of Africans, an Israeli-American, Indians, and Arabs. There are products of interest to all.

Store manager Ghufran Almusawi is excited to add a new range of goods for Passover to the already robust assortment of offerings, of which 70%, she says, is kosher. The shop routinely carries kosher brisket, cold cuts including pastrami, salami, and three kinds of turkey, and a variety of hot dogs. For Passover, there will be kosher chicken, which will become a standard item with enough demand. Almusawi takes care to keep kosher items separate. Other holiday items include schmaltz, gefilte fish, matzah, six varieties of coconut macaroons, mayonnaise, ketchup, pudding, and marshmallows, among other goods.

Product brands include Israel’s popular Sadaf, Yehuda, and Elite. There is a wide range of teas from around the world, spices and bulk items including nuts, nougat, raisins, and olives. Copious volumes of legumes, rice, bulgur, tahini, and other staples augment a limited amount of fresh produce.

An assortment of Middle Eastern flatbreads is fresh and frozen. Also, frozen kebabs, vegetables, and other meats are available. A range of labneh, yogurt, and other dairy items are in the cold case.

Almusawi, who grew up in Michigan in a family grocery business, says she is happy to special order items as long as they are in stock with the wholesaler. “We want to provide a friendly, happy, welcoming environment for everyone,” she says.

Future plans include adding a restaurant.

For more information and the latest items, visit the Al Basha Grocery LLC Facebook page or email The shop is located at 4145 E. Grant Road, 849-5900.