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All  successful retailers whether they sell ethnic products or specialist items such as gluten free understand that apart from providing quality products at competitive prices must also give outstanding service. The point is that you should not feel intimidated by your lack of knowledge of products, be put off by retailers not having good communication skill in your language, the obvious differances in the shop or staff's appearance compared to where you normally shop.......they really want to sell to you.

  Hints to make the shopping experience enjoyable. 

  •  It is a good idea to telephone the shop first, perhaps to get directions. The advantages of this is that you may get a pointer as to their communication skills but most inportantly verify that the shop is still trading. The retail grocery business is difficult at the best of times and there is a posiibility that the shop of your choice has closed. 
  • Try not to shop at peak periods such as around the beginning or end of school, lunch time or before major festive events. If the shop is busy come back later.
  • As some shopkeepers may not have a good command of English prepare a printed list of ingredients or if applicable take a printed copy of the relevant ingredients. 
  • If you see an item of interest ask what it is, how to use it and do they have any recipe suggestions. You will almost always get help, for not only does the retailer want to make a sale they are usually proud that you are taking an interest in their cuisine.
  • The more interest that you show the more help you will receive. Tell them you are new to their cuisine and ask for recommendations for traditional recipes and where to get ingredients for their recipe suggestions that they do not stock.
  •  Be adventurous, you will most likely enjoy the new flavours,  better understand differant cultures and surprise family & friends with your new cuisine skills!