A new foodie find has surfaced in East Plano that goes for a gourmet spin on the quintessential ethnic market. Blue Fig Market is a Mediterranean, Arabic, Indo-Pak and European specialty grocery store that stocks not only canned shelf goods but also produce, bread, cheese, Halal/Zabiha meats, and a Halal deli.
Located at 4101 E. Park Blvd., at the corner of Los Rios Boulevard, Blue Fig is a family-owned business from Zaid Nowar, his father Ziad Nowar, and his brother-in-law, Walid Radwan.
Zaid is a graduate of University of Texas at Dallas with an entrepreneurial streak.
"I always had the mindset that I wanted to start a business, so this is a little project with me and my dad," Zaid says. "It's been a journey. With a market like this, there are so many things to coordinate, particularly when you're stocking produce and bread. Everything has to be fresh."
A large number of their customers come for their Halal meat.
"Our foundation was to create a Halal butchery and deli," he says. "In Dallas-Fort Worth, there are some places to get Halal meat, but there are no Halal delis. If you eat Halal meat, you can't eat the deli meats you get from a Kroger or Walmart."
Their other mission was to create a market that had a European feel.
"I've been to markets where you're hit with a smell," he says. "Our goal was to create an American market but with things that can appeal to everyone. We have a large section of European goods and a variety of breads including both middle Eastern and European-style breads. We're happy to be drawing a large diverse population of customers."
They're only a couple minutes from Plano East High School, so their customers also include students who come in for snacks and drinks.
They're stocking some cool imported sodas such as Vimto, and Arabic-style ice cream. They also make a cute little pita bread snack, almost like a pizza, topped with an Arabic oregano, that's become an unexpected bestseller.
"What we're hearing from customers is that they want more food to go — falafel, hummus — so we're definitely working on expanding that," he says.
And no surprise, they're selling blue figs. "Not too many people in the area sell them," he says.