I met my husband, Mahmoud, 5 1/2 years ago at a restaurant in Ghana where he was the head shawarma chef. Three months later we were married. Until people try his food they think I am in love with his food because I am in love with him. Then they try it. Then they understand. His food is really THAT good.
Mahmoud has been a chef for over 16 years. He started learning at his Uncles restaurant in Damascus, Syria when he was just 9 years old. By 13 he was working months at a time in Dubai. By 23, when we met, he had worked in over 6 countries, and in countless restaurants, many times being recruited especially for his skills in opening and managing kitchens. I have been working in retail and retail management for 20 years. I started scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins in high school and was managing a retail store for a non-profit in Ghana, when we met.
From the first months of our relationship we had a dream of opening out own restaurant. We assumed at that time that it would be in Ghana, but life happens and things change. After spending 2 years apart awaiting a visa and missing the first 2 years of our oldest son's life, Mahmoud joined me in the U.S. It's been just over 2 years since we were reunited and we are ready to make our dream a reality.
We are looking to open in downtown Frankfort, Ky. There is a huge lunch market due to the government offices that are within walking distance. And there is a new office building that will house 1,500 employees. We will also offer delivery within downtown, and catering services. There is a economic stability that comes with opening in downtown Frankfort, ky. Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky and houses the major government offices. This gurantees us that there will be 2,000 + employees in downtown Frankfort at least 5 days a week. Our restaurant will be located within walking distance of these offices.
The stars of our menu will be Mahmoud's Shawarma (beef and chicken) and his Crispy Chicken fingers, seriously the best I've ever had, and everyone who eats them agrees! Along with the basics - hummus, kebabs, kibbeh, fattoush salad, a special "Damascus Burger" for those who aren't ready to jump into Middle Eastern food just yet, and more.
Mahmoud will also make his own breads to use in our restaurant. Made fresh daily.
Since arriving in the U.S. Mahmoud has not been able to work as a chef. His talent is going to waste. That's one reason why we are so driven to make our dream a reality. Mahmoud needs to be back in the kitchen and the public needs to get to enjoy his food. We are currently working with a business counselor to make a formal business plan. We have the skills, the talent, and the determination needed to open and succeed in our restaurant, the only thing we are missing is the capital needed to get started.
That's why we are here asking for your help. Any donation, big or small, means so much to us.
Any money will go towards kitchen machinery and dining room set up.
Risks and challenges
There are always risks opening a new business, especially a restaurant. We will have a small budget to make a big dream a reality. We have done months of market research in order to make the most informed decision on where to open our restaurant. We are purposefully opening small so that we can keep our start up budget small. With our experience in restaurants and retail management we believe we will be a success.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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