we have both…

I’ve started noticing a pattern with the Muslim owned Deli’s I see in NYC. On every NY length block there seems to be two Deli’s working almost side by side. And they are owned by the same people. Knowing that the city’s economy isn’t all that great, how can two stores survive if they cater to exactly the same customers at exactly the same time?

Curiosity has gotten the better of me so I have used a few of these stores. I’ll buy something simple like tea or a bottle of water. While there I look around the store to see what difference, if any, I can discern. One store will sell lottery tickets, beer, and pork products. The other will not.

Throughout the city, the pattern seems to match, regardless of the location of the duo stores. So I asked my husband if he saw anything different. He even drove ‘up state’ in areas like Yonkers or New Rochelle to see what was up. He came back affirming, yes the duo stores (when there’s two together) are owned by the same people, and they are never more than one block away from each other.


When my husband struck up a conversation the answer was readily given. One store is for the ‘Dunya’, the other is for paying for things like Umrah or Hajj, for giving Zadaqah at the Masjid or any collection related to Muslims.

Interesting state of affairs.


3 Responses to “we have both…”

  1. March 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Fascinating! Do the prices differ?
    I am loving all your latest posts! Also because it convinces me you are doing well! I am so glad!
    I am very busy right now so not much time for blogging.

    • 2 INAL
      March 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks Aafke, its also very therapeutic!

      The prices are exactly alike. Not a penny month or less.

      One other thing that is also interesting. The staff is rotated between the duo stores, so in a year half their salary is halal.

      Are you still here, or have you returned home?

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