The Chavushian family rises at five o’clock every morning to bake their secret recipes, developed through trial-and-error by the family patriarch who ditched a corporate career overseas to pursue his true love: cooking. On any given day, customers will discover baklava, dips, hummus, vegetable-stuffed eggplants, and plump grape leaves, each made on-site and available for sampling. Lahmejune, Armenian-style pizza filled with savory ground meat, is also homemade every morning. The family purchased the hole-in-the-wall shop in 1979 and quickly gained a following with their warm service and family-style goods; they began baking on-site in 1984. Over time, they’ve developed signature items. One special favorite is their “nutty cheese spread,” an unlikely blend of feta, cranberry, walnut, pistachio, garlic, and onion—a kitchen experiment that somehow worked. There’s also a graze-worthy fresh olive bar and a wine cellar that stocks hard-to-find Armenian wines. On the weekends, curious travelers from all over New England stop by for the authentic Mediterranean treats. Meanwhile, locals in this tight-knit community rely on Sevan for their groceries and appreciate their civic-mindedness: The family regularly donates food to their next-door neighbor, the Taxiarchae/Archangels Greek Orthodox church.
Photo: Jeffrey Trunell