My particular interest in Goya Garlic Powder derived from my desire to procure some of the product as a Christmas gift for my dear, if-no-longer-near friend Junienne. I do not go overboard when it comes to lavishing presents on Junie, but it would not be “the season of giving” were I to forgo sending some token of my appreciation and affection to my great friend. Per Junie, as garlic powders go, there are no substitutes for the Goya brand, and since she moved back to Memphis some years ago, she has had a hard time sourcing the ingredient. 

My resolve to purchase some of the precious powder intensified when I returned to the District after Thanksgiving to the news that during the holiday Junie had missed a step, met up with a marble floor, and fractured her femur. Thus motivated by the need to do something extra special for her, I searched throughout Columbia Heights–the nexus of the District’s Latino community–at the Progresso Market, the Best World, and a few unsavory-looking bodegas, and found aisles flush with Goya products but not the coveted garlic powder. 

The Web-site has an e-store, but its garlic powder was not one of the items on offer. I contacted Goya’s regional hub in Prince George, VA via telephone, and there must have been some kind of language barrier going on because I was told that the facility did not service Colombia–much as I vainly tried to establish that I was actually calling from the District of Columbia.  However, I was given another telephone number which turned out to be a Goya facility in Pedricktown, NJ, where I spoke to a guy named Mike, who put me on hold while he spoke to another guy who used to service the D.C. territory.  

I was given two clues: a Megamart on Fourteenth Street and a Toro Mart for which no address was available. Upon further investigation, if there was ever a Megamart on Fourteenth Street, it does not exist at that location anymore. While I found a listing for an El Toro Mart, it was situated at a remote location at the periphery of the District’s border along Eastern Avenue, and the one reference made to the store on Yelp showcased the observation that the place was “stinky.” 

Back on the Internet, I ascertained that while the Foodtown, ShopRite and Wegmans supermarket chains each tout the availability of Goya Garlic Powder, none of these companies has a presence in the District. Finally, I was able to find Goya Garlic Powder for sale on as what they call an “add-on”– available for purchase with a qualifying order of twenty-five dollars or more. Even so, there were only seven units left in stock at the time, and I scooped up four of the elusive items and deposited them into my virtual shopping cart before they disappeared from sight–as so often happens to me when trying to book a flight at sites such as Travelocity.

 Although I am sometimes ambivalent about patronizing because of its predatory pricing practices (especially as regards book sales), I must aver that their inventory of hard-to-find products is astounding. Thanks to, I can give my great friend Junienne the gift of Goya Garlic Powder with a card that reads: “Seasoning’s Greetings.”


At 8:00 a.m. this morning the first Costco in the District opened. It is the 619th Costco store in the big-box chain and is located at 2441 Market Street, NE. Vice President Joe Biden was on hand to sample the wares and buy some presents.

Here’s hoping the giant retailer can give Wal-Mart a run for its money!

for the Ninety-nine Percent