Sophia Foods started in 1990 with a mission:
to share food from the world's finest vineyards, fields, and seas.
In 1989, we were a young food-obsessed couple living in Brooklyn. At only 22 and 24, neither of us knew much about cooking, but we loved to eat well. We'd both been lucky enough to grow up around talented and diverse cooks; together, our parents and grandparents come from a total of five countries. We compared our childhood cuisines and, despite our cultural differences, marveled how similar and amazing good cooking made us feel; the passion, thought and energy that goes into procuring just the right ingredients, and the care and hard work that brings it to the table seemed magical and mystical.
Out Into the World
Our appreciation for good eating that had drawn us together soon took us out into the world to learn more. With no formal ties, we left our jobs as a truck owner/operator and a corporate secretary to travel and experience the diverse cultural cuisines of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. We relished in the fruitful essence of Europe's rolling fields and vineyards, the ancient salt pans of the Mediterranean, the exotic spices of Indo-Asian jungles and paddies, and in the flavorful wonders of the Middle East's olive and date groves.
Back Home in Brooklyn
Back home, we longed for those exciting flavors, aromas, recipes, and gastronomic delights from our travels. But as grand as the food was, it was the system surrounding food, the meaning of food in the lives of our hosts, that we wanted to bring home the most. In a culture of American cooking that, by the 80s, had become impersonal, overly processed, and TV-dinner-like, we wanted to reinvigorate our fellow New Yorkers with a passion for experimental cooking by bringing interesting, innovative, top-quality ingredients to their kitchens. Our goal was to re-equate food with time spent with family and friends, and to remind America of the creativity and expression of love that comes from cooking and sharing quality meals at home.
Where to Start?
We were both back at our regular jobs, but determined to bring our newfound, worldly delights home to share with America. We approached supermarkets, first took orders, then purchased the goods, using Danny's truck as our first mini-warehouse. As sales grew, it was time, we reasoned, to invest all our savings and time and see where it might take us. We quit our jobs and officially launched Sophia Foods. We chose “Sophia”, a beautiful woman's name common to many ethnicities, to pay homage to the diverse, eclectic collection of cultures we visited. And like a quality woman, good, honest food has the power to capture the heart and transcend boundaries.
Sophia Grows Up
As our range of delicacies expanded, so did our inventory. Sophia Foods’ first non-mobile warehouse was a storage unit in the basement of our Brooklyn apartment building. When neighbors complained of daily trucking deliveries and pickups outside their door, we finally made the move to a proper warehouse. We've moved and expanded several times over since then, but Brooklyn is still our home. Today our ever-expanding line includes over 200 delicacies from around the world, and we have our fellow "foodie" customers to thank for making our mission a success.
We believe it's the artistry of food, and the altruism to share it with those we love, that is so uniquely human. We've partnered with the world's finest to develop the products worthy of our name, and continue to do everything in our power to ensure Sophia Foods embodies this ethos.
We've learned a lot along the way, but the most important lesson is this: it's all about quality. You don't have to hold a culinary degree to make exotic, delicious meals; you simply have to curate the finest ingredients, then open your heart and table. Therein lies the magic. The party's in your pantry!
Candace & Danny Abitbul