City Recognizes Local Business Specializing in Grocery Products Reflecting Fresno’s Diverse Culture
12/09/2009

Ohanyan’s Bastirma and Soujouk Manufacturing Company and International Deli will be recognized for its business achievements during Thursday’s Fresno City Council meeting. The locally owned company distributes its unique Armenian meat product to fine delicatessens and specialty grocery stores across the United States.

The recognition is part of the City’s Prime Time for Business program, sponsored by the Downtown and Community Revitalization Department. Thursday’s presentation will be made by City Council member Blong Xiong.

Ohanyan’s began as a family-run retail Armenian deli at the corner of West and Shields in west-central Fresno in 1975. Six years later, Jerry Hancer and Marcus Garabetyan bought the deli and began producing bastirma and soujouk, two beef products that are similar to pastrami, salami and prosciutto but with a mixture of unique zesty spices not found anywhere else in the Valley. What started as a small venture manufacturing 400-500 pounds each week has now expanded to produce over 15,000 pounds per week. The product has found a home in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean’s delicatessens and markets in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Michigan, Texas and Florida.

Ohanyan’s closed the retail store on West and Shields earlier this year to complete an expansion and focus energy on growing the manufacturing and sales of its food products. Ohanyan’s is currently working to place its products in stores like Save Mart and Vons.

“Once you taste their product, you’ll wonder why it is not more widely available. It’s incomparable to what you can find in most deli cases, and the product is a reflection of the rich Armenian culture that we embrace as a community,” said Craig Scharton, Director of the Department of Downtown and Community Revitalization.

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