Monday, March 14, 2022

Holyland Market is closing on St. Mark's Place; owner to focus on hummus biz

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

Holyland Market, the Israeli grocery at 122 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue, closes at the end of the month after 18 years in business. 

Moving forward, owner Eran Hileli (pictured above and below) will focus his time and attention on his blossoming hummus business — the 4-year-old Holy Hummus, now available at 700-plus stores in the United States, including locally at Westside Market, Union Market — and Holyland Market. (He said he has 12 new products/flavors on the horizon, including spicy w/red s'chüg, roasted pepper, roasted garlic, za'atar flavored and green s'chüg.)

In an interview with EVG contributor Stacie Joy, Hileli said that he was having challenges finding help and felt burned out after working through the pandemic. (He was also unable to find a buyer for the market.)
From Friday, here's a look around the shop, stocked almost entirely with Israeli products ... 
Hileli first opened a record store — House of Trance — at this location in 1998 before pivoting to the market. 

As he told The Times of Israel in an August 2020 feature
"The industry was changing. People weren’t really buying music anymore," he lamented, saying customers would enter the store, listen to music and then go home to purchase it on the computer. "But you can’t download Bamba," he joked, explaining his decision to start selling the peanut butter-flavored puffed corn snack along with the hundreds of other Israeli products that line Holyland's shelves.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

His hummus is top notch, the real deal. Especially the home style.

Anonymous said...

That's a great little store, sad to see it going away, wishing success for the hummus business.

Anonymous said...

Holy Land hummus is my absolute fave and I had no idea it was related to the shop (duh!). I wish him well in his new endeavor.

Anonymous said...

oh no i'll be so sad to see this store go, all the specialty items i remember from childhood :( and the pita - so good. will have to stock up on some things before it closes.

Sarah said...

I can't imagine running a nationally distributed food business *and* a general store on a day-to-day basis!

Anonymous said...

Quite the pivot! Going from selling the most ephemeral of goods to selling the utmost essentials. Mazel tov.

Anonymous said...

i love holy land market best candy selection too

Would love to know more history about its previous record store too, House of Trance

Lisa Jancso said...

This is a travesty! Holyland is a staple for the jews of the east village. There isn’t another place that will be able to fill the void that holyland will leave behind. Where will we get our Shabbat staples? Who will sell gold star? There also isn’t another place to get kosher food in the area. If you’re an east village Jew, you know that this is a horrible loss to the community!

Anonymous said...

Oh crap, noooo! My Israeli instant coffee and tomato paste, better than any Italian brand I've ever used! Stocking up Saturday!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this place. Every time I miss home (Israel) I go to this shop and just walk between the aisles. It's a truly Israeli place and it will be missed.

Eva said...

What are we going to do for Pesach. That palce is a neccessity, I agree with the comment about what are East Village Jews going to do now. very sad indeed. I kept going by there and were closed. When are they open thsese days to get my last time goodies.