Near East® started in 1963 in Worcester, MA as a small, family-owned company. George and Hannah Kalajian emigrated from Armenia to the United States and set up a grocery store in 1940. Soon after the store opened, Hannah began serving sandwiches and home-cooked hot meals at a twelve-stool luncheonette counter adjoining the grocery store. On Wednesdays, Hannah served her specialty: roasted chicken and Armenian-style rice pilaf. A tasty combination of rice, orzo pasta, and seasoning, the pilaf quickly became so popular that Hannah began to package it - filling bags of pilaf mix by hand in her home kitchen. As demand rapidly increased, more help was added and a growing number of food distributors helped to sell the product. Over the years, production moved out of Hannah's kitchen and into modern manufacturing facilities.
Today, the Near East® family of products includes more than 30 different flavors and varieties of pilafs, couscous, quinoa blends and other grain dishes, all with the same high-quality ingredients, care and handling that Hannah put into the first pilaf. Our easy to prepare products are designed to help you bring the flavors of the world to your kitchen.
Near East® uses only the best ingredients. Most Near East® products are certified Kosher. Our refreshing white box is a symbol of our dedication to simple, high-quality food made with recognizable ingredients and authentic herbs and spices. Our delicious products are available nationally in supermarkets and specialty food stores.
We hope that you enjoy our products. Please e-mail us with your comments or questions. We'd like to hear from you.