Penticton’s downtown core has a new grocery store.
Maharajah Grocerz is located at 502 Martin Street, in the building formerly home to the Royal Canadian Legion. The store celebrated its grand-opening Sunday, Oct. 18. It is now the only grocery store in the downtown area.
Simar and Baani Arora, a brother and sister duo born in Dehli, India, teamed up to open their second store in the Okanagan. The pair already own and operate a similar supermarket in Kelowna.
After a year of operation in Kelowna, the Arora’s decided it was time to expand. After meeting with Penticton mayor John Vassilaki, the Arora’s were told there was a need for a grocery store in the city’s downtown core.
Vassilaki offered to rent the Arora’s the Martin Street space that has been vacant since the Legion re-located in 2019. Excited to be able to fill a need in the community, the Arora’s jumped at the opportunity to bring a supermarket to the downtown area.
Since the store’s soft-opening last week, the Arora’s have already seen a steady stream of customers.
Having moved to the Okanagan from Dehli in 2011, the Arora’s wanted to bring South Asian foods to Penticton while also maintaining some Canadian familiarity.
The store carries a variety of Indian food staples from all over the country, as well as foods found in South Asian countries such as Banglasdesh, Pakistan and Malaysia. They also have basics you’ll find in any traditional North American grocery store.
Most of the spices, and some of the produce, is imported from India. The produce is from local Okanagan farms. The store specializes in bulk, pre-packaged food at whole sale prices, but there’s also plenty of South Asian snacks and treats you might not find anywhere else in Penticton.
To celebrate their opening, the Arora’s are giving away free pressure cookers to each customer who spends over $100.
The store is still getting stocked up, with a larger meat section and home essentials section coming soon. The Arora’s are currently looking for suggestions from the community on what they should carry. “We would love if people would help us know what things, they need so that we can keep it in the store,” said Simar.
Maharajah Grocerz is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.