A few things in the NY retail scene make me happy.
100 year old family businesses, preferably that have been in the same location or neighborhood where they started.
Shops that are about 150 square feet, crammed with all manner of products.
Specialty food shops.
Places with good customer service (not a common occurrence in the city, although stores where employees ignore everyone as they play on their phones or carry a general don’t give a f**k New York attitude also have a special place in my heart.)
Jonty Jacobs in the West Village covers the majority of my checklist. This is a South African food store that focuses on Biltong (dried, cured beef products.)
Being unfamiliar with Biltong, the guy behind the counter let me try a range of their products with full explanations of each one.
I would suggest picking up a few items for either a party, sharing with coworkers or just snacking as you walk over to the Hudson River which is about 1/2 mile west of the store.
Note: This is a premium product that also carries with it a premium price. Coming in at $40 and $60 per pound, I limited myself to 1/4 lbs. of the lean $40 variety. A $10 snack in the city is more than fair and the quality, taste and experience makes a visit to Jonty Jacobs very worth a trip to the village.