CLICK HERE if you are having trouble viewing these photos on a mobile device For 42 years, Specialty Foods, Inc., a small specialty market in Oakland, has been the East Bay’s source for Jamaican ackee, saltfish, shito sauce and other reminders of home for African and Caribbean immigrants living in the Bay Area It was the first grocer of its kind in Northern California, with a loyal following of home cooks and chefs, who came from as far as Arcata and Chico. By the end of the month, it will close its Old Oakland doors for good. “I’ll miss our customers and the joy our work brings to them,” says second-generation owner Nina Cruz, who is closing the shop to focus on her growing family. “Food is a universal language and for decades we have brought people together at the table to connect and bond. I’ll miss being able to do that for them.”The closure is part of an unfortunate trend, as established ethnic markets continue to close in the area, including La Borinqueña, a beloved Mexican market in Old Oakland that shuttered in 2015. What makes Specialty Foods, Inc. particularly interesting is that it didn’t start out as an… Read full this story
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