The Okanagan’s first Arabic store opens in Kelowna

The Okanagan’s first Arabic store opens in Kelowna

The store is located in Kelowna’s Landmark District

The Okanagan’s first Arabic market is here, and you can find it in Kelowna’s Landmark District.

In ‘N Out Market has been in the area since 2017, but a recent change in ownership is bringing fresh ideas to the convenience store.

Ammar Bin Halabi is one of the new co-owners of the store. He said that initially, he and his brother were working on opening up a shawarma and donair restaurant.

“We were so close to opening it. But at the last minute, Maria just came and convinced me and my brother to do the Arabic market,” he said.

Maria Limas, a staff member at the store, pointed out to the brothers there are many Okanagan residents who originally came from the Middle East, who also struggle to get the food and the ingredients they need just like the brothers do.

“Even for us, we struggle when we need food. We have to go to Vancouver or ask my cousin in Vancouver to send us food here,” Bin Halabi added.

He said he and his brother are happy they decided to open the store instead of a restaurant, as selling necessary ingredients and treats is helpful.

In ‘N Out offers pantry necessities, as well as various candies and treats, and grab-and-go lunches and coffee. Limas said the products come from places like Turkey and Yemen.

Limas said the feedback has been very positive since they brought in the Arabic products to mix in with the Western ones.

“They’re so happy that we have a place for them where they can find Halal products,” she said.

“I just want to invite everyone in the Okanagan to come and check us out. Just because you’re not from the Middle East, doesn’t mean you can’t come. There’s something for everyone here.”

Bin Halabi added that if residents don’t find what they’re looking for In ‘N Out, the store can order it for them.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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