ELMHURST — The owners of a popular New Jersey Filipino grocery have opened up in a Queens Boulevard storefront, offering authentic, imported goods and serving up a full menu of home-cooked food.
Sariling Atin, a FIlipino grill and grocery, is operated by the Concepcion family, who also own a store by the same name in Toms River.
The New Jersey-based family heard about the open storefront, near 57th Avenue, a few months ago from a relative who lives nearby, and they opened the Queens branch on April 5.
Rocel Concepcion, 24, runs the store along with her dad, Nilo, 47, who helps shuttle items between the two locations.
It's the first Filipino grocery shop on the south side of Queens Boulevard, where there is a growing Filipino population, and so far business has been booming, the younger Concepcion said.
"I was very overwhelmed by the amount of Filipino people over here when we opened— but it was a nice overwhelming feeling," she said.
The store offers a full line of imported goods from the Philippines, as well as pre-packaged meals and pastries.
In the back is the grill, where a rotating menu of home cooked Filipino food is served up cafeteria-style.
The most popular items, Concepcion said, include barbecue chicken and pork, as well as turon, which is a fried desert made with banana.
Fried pork knuckles are also popular, and on the weekends they serve breakfast, including longanisa, a Filipino sausage, and tocino, which is a cured meat.
They will also start selling halo-halo, a traditional creamy shaved ice dessert, within the next two weeks, Concepcion said.
Local Filipino residents who've traveled to the larger enclave in Woodside for shopping say they appreciate the new shop being so close.
Isabel Quibiat, 19, would usually take the 7 to Woodside just to pick up Filipino favorites.
When her sister told her about Sariling Atin opening down the street from her Elmhurst home, she said she was excited.
"I'm so happy they're here," she said.
Sariling Atin, 89-12 Queens Blvd., is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.