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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Memphis

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Memphis, TN. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Memphis's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Memphis. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Memphis, TN. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery Memphis, TN

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Memphis,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets Memphis, TN

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store Memphis, TN

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery Memphis, TN

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Memphis, TN, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores Memphis, TN

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market Memphis, TN

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Memphis, TN.

 Greek Grocery Store Memphis, TN

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.

4.

They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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 Middle Eastern Store Memphis, TN

Latest News in Memphis, TN

Ja Morant says 25-game ban tough, with 'some horrible days'

ReactionsLike254Funny20Wow2Fire1MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Days before his season debut, Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant expressed gratitude for the support he has received during his 25-game suspension and guilt for the team's struggles without him.Morant said basketball...

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Days before his season debut, Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant expressed gratitude for the support he has received during his 25-game suspension and guilt for the team's struggles without him.

Morant said basketball has been his therapy during his life and that taking the game away made things more difficult. He credited his family, his friends, the Grizzlies and others, as well as therapy, for helping him since NBA commissioner Adam Silver handed down Morant's second suspension in a four-month span in mid-June.

"It was definitely tough, some horrible days," Morant said Friday, the first time he has spoken to the media since the end of last season. "It was tough, but like I said, to start this with the support that I had throughout this process, it definitely helped me a lot. It's pretty much all I could lean on at that time. Obviously basketball is something I've been doing pretty much my whole life. Something that's therapeutic for me. Obviously taking that away, it makes it tougher. But I had the right people around me, from my family to the organization and to my other partners that helped me along in process."

Morant's suspension is scheduled to end Tuesday, when the Grizzlies have a road game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Memphis, which has dealt with injuries to several key players in addition to Morant's absence, has stumbled to a 6-17 start entering Friday night's home game against the Houston Rockets. The Grizzlies, who were the Western Conference's No. 2 seed last season, are tied for the second-worst record in the West.

"It's definitely some guilt at that," said Morant, a two-time All-Star who led the Grizzlies with 26.2 points and 8.1 assists per game last season. "Obviously I'm not on the floor and obviously nobody likes losing, so our job is to go out there and get a win. I take full responsibility of that obviously, even though I'm not on the floor. Decisions I made didn't allow me to be out there to go to battle with my team."

After the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs in April, Morant vowed to make better decisions, acknowledging that his off-the-court issues had a negative impact on the team's season. He was suspended for eight games in March after displaying a handgun during an early-morning Instagram Live video from a Denver-area strip club.

Only two weeks later, Morant was singing with friends in a vehicle when caught holding up a handgun during another Instagram Live video. Silver weighed the situation and announced a second suspension along with other steps for Morant to take.

"We've, together, laid out a program for him over the last several weeks, and to the best of my knowledge, he's complied with everything he's been asked to do," Silver said last week before the in-season tournament final in Las Vegas. "As I said, we'll talk at least once this week before he comes back, and we will review the program and make sure the conditions are in place for him to be successful going forward."

Silver said then that he would have a "check-in" conversation with Morant this week. Morant described that conversation as "good" and again vowed to improve his off-court decision making.

"I honestly feel like I can't go away from being Ja," Morant said. "I feel like that's the most important thing, not trying to lose myself or be somebody that I'm not or act totally different, but the change will be my decision-making and how I go about my daily life of being a NBA player, a father, a role model, a brother, a son, and just focusing in on that being the best Ja I can be."

Morant was smiling and joking with his teammates at Friday morning's shootaround, pointing out when one of his shots would've gone in if not for someone else's ball knocking his attempt away from the bucket.

Under the terms of his suspension, Morant has been allowed to practice and travel with the Grizzlies and take part in morning shootarounds. But then he has had to leave and not be at the arena while Memphis plays.

Morant said he wouldn't put pressure on himself to have a "historic game my first game back," but he's "super excited" to return to the Grizzlies.

"As far as where we stand, I'm not worried at all," Morant said. "Obviously we have guys out, but I feel like we've been preaching over the years that next-man-up mentality. I say I don't think it'll be long before we find it. I feel like we're taking strides in the right direction as of now, as of late, and I feel like the only way for us is to go is up."

Morant said he learned some "eye-opening" things about himself over the past several months that have given him a "new look on life." Asked about specific steps he has taken during that time, Morant said, "Just protecting my peace."

Morant vowed to be a better leader for the Grizzlies but acknowledged he has to prove himself in that role.

"I can't make nobody believe me, outside of my actions," Morant said. "So me answering this question with just words probably won't mean nothing to nobody about it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

'2 Chainz in the building!': Rapper helps Esco restaurant in Memphis celebrate its opening

At Esco Restaurant and Tapas, it's all about the "vibe."And late Friday night, that vibe was excitement as rapper 2 Chainz helped the Downtown Memphis restaurant officially celebrate its opening.The Esco chain is owned by 2 Chainz (Tauheed Epps) and entrepreneur Mychel "Snoop" Dillard. Two Memphis couples — Dundalan Sain and Chloe Gray and Mowbray and Cherina Rowand — brought the franch...

At Esco Restaurant and Tapas, it's all about the "vibe."

And late Friday night, that vibe was excitement as rapper 2 Chainz helped the Downtown Memphis restaurant officially celebrate its opening.

The Esco chain is owned by 2 Chainz (Tauheed Epps) and entrepreneur Mychel "Snoop" Dillard. Two Memphis couples — Dundalan Sain and Chloe Gray and Mowbray and Cherina Rowand — brought the franchise to Memphis, after seeing the restaurant in Atlanta.

About 20 minutes after midnight, a black van with LED lights glowing from the inside drove up to a reserved spot in front of Esco. After a few moments of security moving back the gathering crowd, 2 Chainz stepped out with his entourage and made his way to the red carpet for photos before being escorted inside the new Memphis Esco location.

His entrance was accompanied by "2 Chainz in the building!" being announced by the DJ inside and a eruption of cheers from attendees, as he made his way through a sea of people to a reserved seating area. Wallpaper covered in golden chains and a wall of chain decorations met the man whose name was an obvious inspiration for the décor.

After speaking with those around him briefly, 2 Chainz stood up on the lounge chairs and sat on top of the backs of the booth. He looked out over the dancing crowd, as people jostled to get a glimpse of him through the haze of smoke and flashing LED lights.

ESCO IN MEMPHIS:New Memphis restaurant Esco all about the 'vibe' — from the V-VIP Room to the Turkey Ribs

Esco's Memphis location opened Oct. 25 at 156 Lt. George W. Lee Ave. It’s the fifth Esco to open in the restaurant group, and the first in Tennessee.

Those visiting Esco in Memphis can expect shareable tapas dishes, unique menu items like Turkey Ribs and Seafood Mac-n-Cheese, craft cocktails, DJs and much more.

2 Chainz's Memphis appearance comes about a week after he was injured in a car crash in Miami, according to reports.

2 Chainz recently released a joint album, "Welcome 2 Collegrove," with fellow rapper Lil Wayne, with features from 21 Savage, Usher, Rick Ross and more.

USA TODAY contributed to this report.

Esco Restaurant and Tapas

Where: 156 Lt. George W. Lee Ave.

Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Thursday; 11-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday

Phone: (901) 808-3726

Ja Morant feels ‘guilt’ but not ‘regret’ as he nears return from suspension

Ja Morant’s nearly eight-month exile from the NBA is on track to end Tuesday, when the Memphis Grizzlies star is expected to face the New Orleans Pelicans after completing the terms of a 25-game suspension for flashing a gun on an Instagram live stream.Uncover your Newsprint: Find out what your 2023 reading says about you....

Ja Morant’s nearly eight-month exile from the NBA is on track to end Tuesday, when the Memphis Grizzlies star is expected to face the New Orleans Pelicans after completing the terms of a 25-game suspension for flashing a gun on an Instagram live stream.

Uncover your Newsprint: Find out what your 2023 reading says about you.

The last time the 24-year-old guard took the court, in April, a once-promising Grizzlies campaign combusted in the first round of the playoffs following a string of injuries and Morant’s previous gun-related suspension, which sidelined him for nearly three weeks in March. Now Morant returns to a reshaped Grizzlies team that has lost several key players and sits near the bottom of the Western Conference standings with a 6-17 record entering Friday night. With so much ground to make up, Morant faces the possibility his two suspensions will have ruined two seasons for Memphis.

In his first public comments since the NBA suspended him in June, Morant said Friday he “made a lot of mistakes,” did “a lot of learning” and participated in “eye-opening” therapy sessions during his extended hiatus, which he said was “definitely tough” to go through and included some “horrible days.”

“Basketball is something I’ve been doing pretty much my whole life and something that’s therapeutic for me,” Morant said at a news conference in Memphis. “Taking that away makes it tougher. I had the right people around me, from my family to the organization to my other partners. My only message [to the fans] is that I’m just as excited to see them when that time comes.”

Warriors’ Draymond Green suspended indefinitely by the NBA

Morant added that his focus has been “protecting my peace” and “doing whatever makes me happy and keeps me in a good mood.”

To retake the court, Morant was required to complete a return-to-play process that included several checkpoints, among them a meeting this week with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who said Saturday he and the National Basketball Players Association had been “monitoring the situation closely.”

“To the best of my knowledge, [Morant] has complied with everything he’s been asked to do,” Silver said.

Morant kept a relatively low profile throughout his second suspension, which came on the heels of allegations Morant and his friends attacked a teenager at Morant’s home, accosted a mall security guard and got in a confrontation with high school students at a volleyball game. This week, Morant appeared in court for a hearing related to the alleged fight with the teenager over a pickup basketball game in July 2022.

In recent months, Morant was cleared to practice and travel with his Grizzlies teammates, and he appeared on social media in workout videos wearing T-shirts that read “Accountability” and “Gratitude.” After a March incident in which he flashed a gun at a Denver-area nightclub on social media and the June incident in which he briefly appeared on a live stream holding what appeared to be a gun in a car, Morant acknowledged he has a lot of trust to earn back.

“I can’t make nobody believe me outside of my actions,” Morant said. “Me answering this question with just words probably won’t mean nothing to nobody. … I wouldn’t say I regret [the situation], but I’m not happy that it happened. But I’m also grateful that I had this opportunity to reflect and do things that I think were not only needed for me but for my family as well, to realize what all is at stake. … I can’t say I sit up here and regret it because in the end it made me better.”

A two-time all-star and a budding face of the NBA before his suspensions, Morant led the Grizzlies to the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, and Memphis, despite a young core, was the West’s No. 2 seed last season.

Yet Morant’s fall from grace coincided with major changes this summer: Marcus Smart and Derrick Rose replaced Dillon Brooks and Tyus Jones, who were two key rotation players on last year’s team. Memphis proceeded to start 1-8 without Morant, center Steven Adams (who underwent season-ending knee surgery in October) and backup big man Brandon Clarke (who is still sidelined with an Achilles’ injury).

Buckner: The NBA has been waiting for its next new thing. Enter Tyrese Haliburton.

The Grizzlies, who featured in a marquee Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors last season, have retreated from the national radar without their franchise player. Memphis’s ugly start included Coach Taylor Jenkins going on an extended rant about the officiating following a Nov. 10 loss to the Utah Jazz, and Morant, who averaged 26.2 points, 8.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds last season, will need to kick-start an offense that ranks 29th this season after finishing 11th in 2022-23 and fourth in 2021-22.

“There’s definitely some guilt in that,” Morant said when asked about the impact of his absence. “I’m not on the floor, and nobody likes losing. Our job is to go out there and get a win. I take full responsibility for that.”

Memphis entered play Friday 6½ games out of the West’s play-in tournament and eight games out of a guaranteed playoff spot. ESPN.com’s projection system gives the Grizzlies a 0.3 percent chance of making the playoffs, while Basketball-Reference.com’s model projects the team to win just 25.7 games with no chance to make even the play-in tournament.

“As far as where we stand, I’m not worried at all,” Morant said. “We’ve had guys out. We’ve been preaching over the years that ‘Next man up’ mentality. I don’t think it will be long before we find it. I feel like we’re taking strides in the right direction as of late. I feel like the only way for us to go is up.”

The Grizzlies have had no choice but to remain patient during the first two months of the season, and Jenkins praised Morant’s “unbelievable” commitment to the “lengthy” return-to-play process. The coach noted his floor general has been increasingly involved in practices and in five-on-five scrimmages in preparation for his season debut, which will be a showdown between New Orleans’s Zion Williamson and Morant, the top two picks in the 2019 draft.

Though Morant said he has been “counting down the days” until his suspension is lifted, he cautioned he wasn’t going to “force a historic game my first game back” or attempt to project a different image following the controversies.

“I honestly feel like I can’t go away from being Ja,” he said. “That’s the most important thing. Not trying to lose myself or be somebody that I’m not or act totally different. The change will be my decision-making and how I go about my daily life of being an NBA player, a father, a role model, a brother and a son. Focusing on how I can be the best Ja I can be.”

Ja Morant reflects on suspension ahead of Grizzlies return: No regrets, 'it made me better'

Ja Morant found himself in a familiar position Friday: addressing reporters after missing time due to discipline from the NBA. But this time it was different.Morant was given a 25-game suspension for a gun incident in Ma...

Ja Morant found himself in a familiar position Friday: addressing reporters after missing time due to discipline from the NBA. But this time it was different.

Morant was given a 25-game suspension for a gun incident in May. Six months after the league's decision, he is set to return to the court Dec. 19 against the New Orleans Pelicans.

On Friday, the 24-year-old fielded questions from the Grizzlies' podium while seemingly filled with excitement.

"Obviously, feel like I'm not done learning myself or learning new things," Morant said when asked about his current perspective of his past actions. "I see why the things that happened, happened. But I can't say I sit up here and regret it because in the end, I feel like it made me better."

Last go-round, Morant was coming back from an eight-game suspension the league imposed in response to a different incident that saw him brandish a gun in a strip club in March. After filming with Jalen Rose for his first interview since the initial ban, Morant talked to reporters about the need to be "more responsible." He apologized to his team and the league, adding that counseling has helped him manage stress but he isn't "completely better.”

Morant's most recent pre-return news conference didn't feature any apologies. He reflected on his time away, saying it was difficult because basketball is an almost therapeutic outlet for him.

"It was definitely tough, horrible days," Morant said before acknowledging his transgressions. "I've made a lot of mistakes, even with my family. Not some that has even been public. Even with my family. I’ve done a lot."

With the Grizzlies going 6-17 to start the season in his absence, Morant took accountability.

"I take full responsibility of that, even though I'm not out on the floor," he said. "Decisions I made didn't allow me to be out there to go to battle with my team."

Morant explained that he "can't go away from being Ja." Instead, he said he'll alter his decision-making to be the "best Ja" he can be. When asked how he would describe that shift to convince fans that things will be different now, he said it wouldn't matter.

"I can't make anyone believe me outside of my actions," he answered. "So me answering this question with words probably won't mean anything."

"I can't go away from being Ja. The change will be my decision-making and how I go about my daily life..." Ja on the changes in his life after serving this suspension. pic.twitter.com/ivnKkueak0

— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 15, 2023

'Good' meeting with Adam Silver

Morant admitted that he has been "counting down the days" until he can play with the Grizzlies again, a tally he has even shared on social media.

During a news conference before the in-season tournament final, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he would meet with Morant in person before his return. Silver didn't describe the meeting as a prerequisite for Morant's eligibility but rather as an extension of the league's ongoing monitoring of his situation.

"Folks in the league office, together with Ja and his team and the players’ association, have been in regular contact, essentially weekly,” Silver said last week. “There have been those checkpoints.”

Morant spoke about the meeting Friday, saying the check-in was "good."

"It was good."Ja Morant on his check-in with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver pic.twitter.com/hp6D8ZpD7W

— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 15, 2023

Morant heralded one of the league's decisions throughout the news conference, expressing how beneficial it was for him to spend time with his team since he was permitted to practice and travel with the Grizzlies during the suspension.

"What helped me is being around the guys as much as I could be," Morant said. "[They] helped this suspension go by fast."

Morant's new outlook

While Morant didn't speak much about the counseling he underwent during his previous suspension, he was open about his experience in therapy this time.

"I feel like I learned a lot about myself," Morant said. "Very eye-opening. It gave me a new look on life, with how I go about my days, how I carry myself. Just being grateful and thankful that I'm still here and I'm in the position I'm in."

Morant asserted that he won't change his attitude on the court. He isn't forcing a historic comeback game, but he hopes he will be quick to knock off the rust. He politely rebuffed a question about other NBA stars surpassing him while he was away from the game, congratulating the likes of Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Brunson for positively impacting their respective teams.

Saying that he doesn't care about anyone's opinion of where he currently ranks in the league, he later joked when asked if he still has a chip on his shoulder.

"It's not a small chip no more. It's a shared size," he said with a laugh.

As he walked away smiling, he repeated the phrase.

Trap Fusion: What to know about Memphis restaurant on 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives'

Whitehaven restaurant Trap Fusion is the first Memphis restaurant to be featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in more than a decade.We thought you might like to know a little more about this small, Black-owned restaurant that was founded in Whitehaven and has a sec...

Whitehaven restaurant Trap Fusion is the first Memphis restaurant to be featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in more than a decade.

We thought you might like to know a little more about this small, Black-owned restaurant that was founded in Whitehaven and has a second location in Cordova.

Trap Fusion in Whitehaven and Cordova

Trap Fusion opened in May 2019 at 4637 Boeingshire Drive in the space that was formerly Pollard's BBQ in Whitehaven. A year and a half later, a second location opened in Cordova at 670 N. Germantown Parkway in the Trinity Commons shopping center.

Each of the locations has a small seating area, with seats for approximately 30 guests. The Whitehaven location also has an outdoor patio with seats for an additional 25-30 guests.

Service is fast-casual, with a large component of business geared toward takeout.

Who are the owners of Trap Fusion?

Jason Gardner and Monique Williams founded the business, and Markeith McCoy joined the team as a partner shortly thereafter.

Today, the two restaurants are operated by Gardner, who is the chef, and McCoy, who is the business manager.

In 2022, Williams ceased being involved in day-to-day operations and turned her focus on her Bartlett brunch restaurant Biscuits & Jams, which opened in August 2021, and her private chef and catering operation called Chef Mo Creates. Williams said she is excited to see the national attention that Trap Fusion is getting.

McCoy said the partnership with Gardner happened by happen chance.

The two had been friends since college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Gardner was the younger cousin of a good friend of McCoy’s. The two met when Gardner came to tour the school, and their lifelong friendship took off from there.

“I originally thought I would be just be temporarily helping out a friend get his business started,” McCoy said. “Then Jason asked me to be part of the restaurant. I knew it would be a success because I thought his food was the best from the first day I tasted it."

A wish to bring good food to Whitehaven

Gardner grew up in the Whitehaven neighborhood. He said it was important for him to bring something new and good to the community.

"Growing up in this neighborhood and looking around there were chicken wings and fries, a lot of fast food but no good meals that had fresh vegetables in this area," Gardner said.

McCoy said, prior to Trap Fusion, he and his friends would have to leave Whitehaven to get the food they wanted.

“There are a lot of good people in Whitehaven, and a large consumer base. They deserved more than what they were getting from chains,” said McCoy, adding they are honored to be a small Black-owned business in the neighborhood.

What’s on the menu at Trap Fusion?

Trap Fusion is known for its from-scratch and one-of-a-kind spins on soul food and Southern cuisine. Influences of Cajun and Caribbean fare are evident in many of the items made daily from fresh ingredients.

Smoked wings, blackened salmon and stuffed turkey burgers are just a few of the dishes on the eclectic menu at Trap Fusion.

McCoy said the Jerk Chicken Alfredo Pasta is the restaurant’s No. 1 seller, with the lamb chops and oxtails coming in as close seconds.

Trap Fusion has also made a name for itself in the vegan market. Like everything at the restaurant, even the vegan dishes like burgers and vegan "BBQ jack" sandwiches are made from scratch. “Nothing is prepackaged,” McCoy said.

Trap Fusion also has a line of juices called Juice Mane. The goal is to expand that line of beverages into retail stores.

What’s behind the name Trap Fusion?

McCoy said Williams is the one who came up with the name for the restaurant. Her explanation of the name explains a lot about the philosophy and drive behind the concept.

“We chose the word TRAP because it is our goal to ‘trap’ taste buds with our ‘fusion’ of health conscious Southern-style dishes with other cuisines like Caribbean, Cajun, Asian and more,” Williams said. “TRAP is also an acronym for ‘Take Risk And Prosper’ and that is what we did when we opened a restaurant in Whitehaven, a local food desert.”

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How to watch Trap Fusion on 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives'

Trap Fusion will be featured on the “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” episode titled “Southern, Western & North of the Border," which airs at 8 p.m. CST Dec. 15 on Food Network.

The episode will also re-air on these dates.

It will also be available to stream.

The episode’s description states: “Guy Fieri's digging dishes from across the map. In Buffalo, Wyo., it's scratch-made Italian that's hitting all the flavor notes. Then, in Calgary, Alberta, a Venezuelan spot is keeping it fresh, tasty and gluten-free, while in Memphis, Tenn., a Southern-Caribbean mashup is serving oxtail and lamb chops with extra spice.”

Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.

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Trap Fusion

Two locations: 4637 Boeingshire Drive and 670 N. Germantown Parkway, Cordova

Online: trapfusion901.com

Hours: Noon-7 p.m. Monday; noon-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; closed Sunday

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