Market items fill a void

  • The Keene International Market offers imported products from across the globe, like lentils and grains. Peter Biello—NHPR

  • Jenna Carroll, Chuda Mishra and their daughter, Sofia, stand inside the Keene International Market. Peter Biello—NHPR

New Hampshire Public Radio
Published: 9/24/2021 5:42:45 PM

The sign hanging outside Keene International Market says it all: “All bellies welcome.”

A small gold bell jingles as customers enter the store. They’re greeted with crates stacked high with imported goods, shelves stocked with hard-to-find spices, and racks of candy from across the pond.

The market, nestled in downtown Keene, is the brainchild of co-owners and husband-and-wife-duo Chuda Mishra and Jenna Carroll. For years, Mishra hadn’t been able to find the Nepalese ingredients he’d been looking for to make food that brought back memories of his youth, like momos, authentic Nepalese dumplings.

Mishra began to notice that community members in Keene faced the same problem. So, in an unexpected positive twist of fate amid the pandemic, a business began to form.

Mishra started taking requests from friends in the Keene community, asking them what food products they couldn’t find. He’d order them to his home and schedule pick-ups. Soon, his guest room was packed to the ceiling with goods most local supermarkets in New Hampshire don’t carry.

As word spread, Mishra and Carroll saw an opportunity to turn the business they’d been operating out of their home into a brick and mortar store. Keene International Market was born.

Now, customers can take home English sandwich cookies stuffed with raspberry jam, known as Jammie Dodgers, Jamaican jerk seasoning, or a tall bottle of Vietnamese fish sauce to add that umami kick to any meal.

The feedback from the community has been great.

“I think it’s just going really well,” Mishra said. “[There’s] big support here, and people appreciate how much it takes to go somewhere and get product here. So that’s kind of amazing.”

All Things Considered host Peter Biello took to the road and got a tour of Keene International Market. He even came home with his own packet of Jammie Dodgers.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.



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