Traditional Nepali foods right here in Concord

20110927_katmandu
Where can you find Kraft Macaroni & Cheese next to Neoguri noodles? At the Katmandu Snack Shop, of course.
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Loudon Road offers endless retail and entertainment options, from fast food to movies to traditional Nepali groceries to pizza.

Wait, what? Did we say traditional Nepali groceries?

We sure did. One of Concord's hidden gems is the Katmandu Snack Shop, located inside the Sunoco gas station at 114 Loudon Road. The convenience store features the usual soft drinks and snacks but also boasts a wide variety of African, Indian and Nepali groceries, fulfilling the vision of co-owners Karma Samten and Karma Molam, both of whom are from Nepal.

The store opened a little more than a year ago to fill a void for those who have immigrated to the Concord area and struggled to find the comforts of home.

"Concord doesn't have any Asian convenience stores, so we thought we'd make a store for them," Molam said. "What we're trying to do is help them out."

The store features items such as buckwheat, coriander powder, jasmine rice and mung beans, along with many others. Among the most popular offerings in the store are basmati rice, dumpling wrappers and the various vegetables and grains available, Molam said.

The store also features Nepali and Indian DVDs and an assortment of spiritual items.

The Katmandu is truly a case of worlds colliding, a store where Kraft Macaroni & Cheese shares shelf space with spices from halfway around the world.

Most of the products are shipped first to New York City or Boston. Molam said Samten often makes as many as four trips a month to New York to pick up and transport the grocery items. The selection is always changing, Molam, said, as suggestions from customers come in.

The convenience store has filled the precise void Molam and Samten hoped to fill. Shoppers come from all corners of Concord and even as far as Manchester, as Katmandu is the only such shop in the region. Molam said the business hopes to expand to include a wholesale element, where bulk items can be brought in and sold to local restaurants and other outlets.

Molam came to the United States nine years ago and has worked at the Moritomo Steak House on Fort Eddy Road for several years. He previously lived and worked in New York City, making the move to the Concord area a rather dramatic one, but as the Katmandu Snack Shop enters its second year in business, Molam said the reception has been nothing but warm.

"I like it here," he said. "The people are nice, it's not crowded and there's no crime. The people are very friendly."

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