Located on Farmington Avenue in the West End of Hartford, Tangiers International Market showcases specialty foods from the Middle East and the Mediterranean. The Hartford Chamber of Commerce enjoyed lunch at Tangiers and MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price had a brief chat with Co-Owner Zach Latif to learn more.

NAN PRICE: Give us a little background. How did Tangiers end up in Hartford?

ZACH LATIF: My parents started the business in 1995. At that time, Tangiers was located in West Hartford. In 2014, when the building owners sold the building and we had to move. We ended up in our current location on Farmington Avenue in Hartford. The timing worked well for us. This space was opening up and it turned out to be a perfect location. We wanted to stay in the community and we only ended up only moving about five blocks.

NAN: Other than the move, how has the business evolved since it opened?

ZACH: The pandemic changed things for everybody. We shifted gears a bit and updated our website with all our products. During the pandemic, we did a lot more takeout, which we still provide. We also added a lot more grocery items because a lot of the supermarkets were out of specific items, like nuts, grains, and wheats. Also, we’ve expanded our patio with the help of a local resident, who’s also West Ender.

NAN: I’ve been coming to Tangiers since I moved to Connecticut in 2000, so to me, it’s part of the fabric of the community.

ZACH: We really feel connected to the community and the West End of Hartford/West Hartford; it’s always felt like home to us. I come from a big family and we all grew up in West Hartford, so we wanted to stay in the community. Our community has always supported us, so it was very important for us to remain in that community and give back.

It was also important to have a good landlord who wanted to grow with us and make the neighborhood better. It’s a great community. We love it here.

We love being a business in Hartford, on Farmington Avenue, with so many other flourishing businesses and ethnic foods. It’s really a hub for different types of ethnic foods.

NAN: What makes Tangiers unique?

ZACH: I like to look at the store as almost a museum. We have people stop in from the neighborhood—and all over the state.

You get to see all these different foods and things that people in other countries eat here in Hartford. People can walk around and kind of travel the world without traveling the world. They’re exposed to different things because we have many hard-to-find ingredients and items on our shelves that people don’t often find elsewhere.

NAN: If you’re stopping by for lunch or dinner, what should you order?

ZACH: We’re known for our falafel.

Learn more about Tangiers International Market
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