The number of clocks on the wall correspond with how many languages each person in the store can speak, or so it seems. The wall tells the time for Fairfax, Moscow, Kiev, Istanbul and Baku , the capital of Azerbaijan, where Baku Delicious’ owners, Sevda Tahirli, her husband, her brother and her brother’s wife, were from before they moved to the U.S. less than a decade ago. Tahirli’s mother helps in the kitchen, too.
The small store fits in tables in the front, where a cast of immigrants drink tea, eat dumplings, soups and pastries both sweet and savory made from the kitchen in the back of the store, and speak in a host of languages.
Opened in the beginning of the year, the Fairfax store sells goods from the Caucasus, Balkans and Europe in just a handful of aisles. Olives come brined, dehydrated and turned into a paste. Eggplant is seemingly roasted and spun into every jar of savory condiment, like that fiery ajvar. Miniature patty pan squashes sit in a pickling liquid, and would look equally at home at a farmers market. A variety of grains and beans—barley, buckwheat, bulgur, fava, white and red cranberry—are available, as well as chickpeas both dried and in snack-form, crispy and salty and coated in sugar. Jams and preserves come in not-oft-seen fruit flavors like cornel and feijoa, and same with drinks: a bergamot (citrus) tea in a millennial pink can and Saray Serbeti, sour cherry juice with cloves, ginger and cinnamon.
The cold case is stacked with shiny, silver fish packed into glass jars, plenty of caviar, cheeses and butters, one of which is from Russia, sold in a tub with the face of an older woman wrapped in a babushka and described as melted grandma butter .
At checkout, there’s an option to join the loyalty program and receive the store’s newsletter, offered in four different languages. –SG // 3900 Pickett Road, Suite C, Fairfax; bakumarket.com