Indian, Southeast Asian market opens in Salt Lake City
Food • Stores cater to new tastes as Utah's demographics evolve.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A second Qaderi Sweetz N. Spicez supermarket has opened in Salt Lake City, reflecting Utah's changing demographics.

The colorful 6,000 square foot building at 1785 S. State St. sells mostly items from India but ingredients from South Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa can be found on the shelves as well.

Along with fresh and frozen foods, basmati, masoori and jasmine rice, the store also stocks henna, incense, CDs, DVDs and supplies for the Festival of Colors, a Hindu religious observance. There also are thousands of spices and hundreds of coffees and teas to choose from.

In addition, the store will house a restaurant and deli, which will open at the end of August.

The first location, 3546 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, has been open 20 years.

Store co-owner Asif Khanani said that for years customers have been asking for a store in Salt Lake City so when the former O'Reilly Auto Parts building became available, the family decided on a second location.

The stores cater to customers who love foods from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Burma, but there are also selections from Bhutan, Bangladesh, Tibet, Sri-Lanka, Afghanistan and other Southeast Asian countries.

"Every region has its own twist," said Khanani. "But half of our customers are simply people who love this type of cuisine."

Khanani and his brother Yousuf moved to Utah from Pakistan in 1981 as young boys with their father, a steelworker, and their mother. As other family members left for the East and West Coasts, their parents remained in the Beehive state. Their late father, Mohammad Younus Khanani, eventually opened the first store — with the help of his young family.

The brothers graduated from the University of Utah in the late 1990s, Asif in business and Yousuf in business and communications. They, their wives and mother Zubeda Khanani help run the business today.

The Khananis are among a small population in the state — but their numbers are growing.

Indian and Pakistani immigrants make up less than 4,000 people in Utah, but the broader category of Asians statewide is growing faster than the national average.

New census estimates said that in 2012, the white population in Utah grew by only 1.2 percent. At the same time, the Asian community grew by 4.8 percent; the black population by 5.2 percent; Pacific Islander, 3.5 percent; Latino, 2.5 percent; and American Indian, 1.9 percent.

Nationally, the Asian population grew by 2.9 percent; Latino by 2.2 percent; Pacific Islander by 2.2 percent; American Indian by 1.5 percent; and black by 1.3 percent.

New U.S. Census Bureau estimates also show that population growth among Utah minorities zoomed twice as fast as for whites between 2011 and 2012 — up 2.7 percent compared with 1.2 percent.

For now, Utah whites still vastly outnumber minority residents. Currently, Utah has 2.33 million non-Hispanic whites, making up 81.6 percent of the population.

Tribune reporter Lee Davidson contributed to this report.

dawn@sltrib.com —

India, Southeast Asian grocery store Qaderi Sweetz N. Spicez:

Salt Lake City • 1785 S. State Street

West Valley City • 3546 S. Redwood Road

Hours • 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, closed Mondays

(West Valley store hours vary on Tuesdays, opening at 1 p.m.)