by Mike Sula
The annual Saveur 100 issue just arrived, and coming in at number 17 are Mafat and Talashi Patel, whose 40-store Indian grocery empire--"where shoppers find crates of specialty vegetables like fenugreek greens, fridges packed with rotis, and shelf after shelf of salty South Asian pickles"--got its start right here on Devon Avenue in the early 70s.
Taking a page from Wal-Mart, they're not planning to stop at that. "The Patels plan to launch new stores," says the Saveur item, "and they may even open an outpost in India. 'Small stores are closing over there, and big supermarkets are taking over,' Mafat says."