Local residents looking for a place to pick up nan, curry or ghee have a new place to shop in the Crofton area.
The Taj Mahal Indo-Pak Supermarket recently opened in the Crofton Princess Center, bringing together two best friends who were tired of traveling to Baltimore or Prince George’s County to find their dinner ingredients.
Fadia Alvi and Shameela Rashed operate the new market, which features about 2,000 square-feet filled with essentials for any Indian or Pakistani dish. The pair said the store has been a hit with the roughly 400 Indian and Pakistani families in the area, and has drawn interest from residents in Bowie and elsewhere.
“We were tired of going to Baltimore or Langley Park,” Alvi said, noting that there were no similar stores close by. “Our children were in school and we were going to go to work anyway, so we said ‘why not work for ourselves?’”
Rashed is from the city of Karacho in Pakistan, while Alvi grew up in the northern part of India, about 90 minutes from the famed Taj Mahal. They became friends after moving to Crofton, and each has children in public schools in town. Their husbands help out at the store in the evenings and are also friends.
Alvi said the store is stocking items they know will sell, but will add items if people request them. There are shelves full of tea bags, another shelf with nothing but nan bread, a freezer case with various items, an entire section devoted to spices, plus plenty of sweets.
“Whatever we have, it goes,” Alvi said.
The store also sells produce, including some items that may not be available elsewhere, such as Indian eggplants, coconuts and long squash. Customers can also order meat and have it delivered to the store. (They accepted delivery of an entire goat recently for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.)
Taj Mahal Indo-Pak Supermarket is located at 2510 Conway Road, #104. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Mondays except on some holidays.