Shifa Restaurant is a family-run restaurant offering a special blend of Indian and Somali cuisine. The ADX team met with Abdullahi Mohamed, co-owner of Shifa Restauran, to learn more about their experience expanding their business amidst the pandemic.
ADX: Tell us about Shifa Restaurant. How did you get started?
Shifa: Before our current restaurant, Shifa Restaurant, this was coffee shop. But there weren’t a lot of food options around, and people would come in looking for hot food. We recognized an opportunity, so we sought funding from family, friends, and the bank to open Shifa Restaurant.
ADX: What were the major challenges you faced expanding your business during the COVID-19
Shifa: It took us more than eight months to open the business because of contractor and other delays. And just when we hoped open our doors, the pandemic hit with full force. At that point, we couldn’t stop because we had already invested so much into this business.
ADX: Has business picked up?
Shifa: In the first few months, even with the pandemic, we were able to break even. But around the middle of August, people just stopped showing up. By then our community had other
things to worry about. I think people were just afraid for their lives, truthfully.
ADX: How has the community helped?
Shifa: The Lake Street Council, where Shifa Restaurant is located, introduced us to Kim and the LBA. Through them we were connected to other individuals and business that offered pro bono website design. Thanks to community support, we’ll now have a new logo and color theme, a catchy slogan, and a user-friend- ly website where you can place online order. We’ll be launching out new site and look soon! There are a lot of good people in this community.
ADX: What is next for Shifa Restaurant?
Shifa: We have some loyal customers who really like our food and keep coming back and we are so thankful for that. We need to grow, but we know everyone is struggling. We are trying to take it one step at a time and we are applying for grant and loans. We are trying everything we can.
ADX: Anything else you’d like the community to know about Shifa Restaurant?
Shifa: At Shifa Restaurant, we provide a fusion of Indian and Somali entrées. Our dishes are healthy and delicious! Come check us out!
CTA: Please consider Shifa Restaurant the next time you want to try something unique and flavorful! http://shifacafe.com
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