In 1990 a family from Moldavia and a family from Ukraine immigrated to the Brookline area to live in a democracy that allowed freedom of speech. Though both families were grateful to live in the USA, they yearned for familiar foods. In 1993 they opened the BazaAr International grocery store on Beacon Street in Coolidge Corner. They lined the shelves with European foods that they loved. Eventually they opened three more grocery stores in Framingham, Newton, and Allston.
As you can imagine, the invasion of Ukraine weighs heavy. Still reeling from the pandemic, BazaAr International has contributed food and funding to Ukraine. This is a challenging time for all, especially for those with Ukrainian roots.
BazaAr International is an important Town resource for those who have immigrated from Europe and want to purchase food from their place of birth. This neighborhood grocery store is also a treasure for everyone who walks through their door and steps into a scene reminiscent of Europe. As in many grocery stores, you’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly baked breads with no artificial preservatives, grab and go meals, frozen foods, meats, fish, and cheeses.
What sets this store apart is the unusual variety of foods. Many items are made in factories in Chicago and New York with old world recipes. Some products are imported. Potato perogies, European pastries, cheeses from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, as well as the U.S.; and jars of German and Swiss jams, including the usual fruits as well as white cherry jam and rose petal jam, line the shelves.
Where else can you find pickles, including sour, half sour, pickled cherry tomatoes, pickled watermelon, and pickled apples? The bakery features honeybee cake, Italian tiramisu, and German black forest cake. Several kosher items, including products from International Natural Bakery and Lesti Desserts are available. You can find a variety of coffees, teas, Italian pasta, and jarred sauces. Every day you can choose from two hot soups to go. The menu changes daily.
The next time you need groceries, check out BazaAr International. It’s more than a grocery store. It’s an experience. The smells, sounds, and sights are exotic. Staff are friendly and helpful, especially if you don’t know what’s in the can, jar, or behind the counter. When you return several times, you’ll be part of the “family.” And you’ll be supporting a local independent grocery store with Ukrainian ties.
The Chamber Spotlight is submitted by Deborah Good Miller, executive director, Brookline Chamber of Commerce. www.BrooklineChamber.com www.DiscoverBrookline.com #ShopBrookline.