Habibi's owners Courtney Haton and Mo Abed in their Sanford FL grocery store

Habibi’s owners Courtney Haton and Mo Abed in their Sanford FL grocery store

The news of Habibi’s, an international grocery store and butcher, coming to town hit Sanford earlier this year via the Bokey, launching a thousand dreams of gourmet meals. Well, those dreams will turn into reality this weekend, when Courtney Haton and Mo Abed open the doors of their homegrown, specialty market open to the public. I met with this pair last weekend, and I am over the moon that they have chosen to enrich Downtown Sanford with their incredible offerings. Just in case you need a push, here are 5 Reasons You Should Shop at Habibi’s International Market this weekend (and for the rest of all time!).

Inside Habibi's Grocery Store in Downtown Sanford FL

1) It’s local. Like super local.

Habibi’s is located in Downtown Sanford on 2nd Street (two blocks from my house!), and the owners are committed to supporting our growing foodie scene while achieving their own dreams. As a family who has lived in Historic Sanford, Courtney and Mo understand the unique challenges of owning a business downtown and what it is like to be a resident of this area, and are working hard to make sure Habibi’s contributes to Sanford in a meaningful and substantial way. They are going the extra mile to provide us with exquisite local meats and they will even deliver groceries to a small local radius!

2) It’s truly family owned.

Courtney and Mo put their heads together to dream up the concept, taking inspiration from the needs and wishes of their own family to service our Sanford family. It’s so nice knowing that every dollar spent at Habibi’s is appreciated, and that these two will take the time to get to know their customers. You can expect to see Mo and Courtney’s smiling faces at the market, and they will even have other members of their family supporting the dream, including Mo’s sister, who owns Baghdad Iraqi Bakery and will be providing freshly baked middle eastern treats like naan.

Inside Habibi's Sanford FL

3) You can treat yourself to something exotic

No more long car rides to asian markets and spice stores outside of Sanford! Habibi’s will carry imported international staple ingredients, such as curry, dried spices, and specialty olives and cheeses. You can try a new international ingredient every day of the week and never have to leave Sanford. (bwwwahahahaha.) As someone who adores exotic food and cooking, I can’t wait to fill my basket with a boatload of items I’ve never had and old favorites that used to require a long journey to the bowels of Orlando to procure. Habibi’s hopes to eventually provide recipes using their products as a shopping guide, yum!

4) You can get fresh veggies!

Can I get a hallelujah? Fresh produce, every day, Downtown. The folks at Habibi’s are working hard to ensure that their produce comes from reputable suppliers that are as local as possible. I just can’t get over the fact that many of us will actually have produce that is 1) better quality and 2) closer to home than Winn-Dixie. Hooray for Habibi’s!

5) Freshly butchered meat will be available!

But wait, there’s more! (Can you tell I’m getting more and more excited??) In addition to specialty international grocery items, fresh produce, and amazing homemade breads and sweets, Habibi’s will also butcher meat on site, including halal meat. They are sourcing their meat from Florida Fresh Meats, located less than two hours away in Ocala, which translates to fresh, local, grass-fed beef right here in Downtown.

So, in other words, when you do your grocery shopping this weekend, stop in and shop with our newest Downtown neighbor, Habibi’s! We will definitely see you there!

First Street Sanford FL Saturday morningHabibi’s is slated to open on Saturday, 9/5/15, and is located at 112 W. 2nd St.
You can contact Habibi’s via email: habibisinternationalmarket@gmail.com.
Follow them on FB: Habibi’s Market.
Website: Habibi’s