Philadelphia welcomes reopening of Sister Muhammad’s KitchenBy Shahida Muhammad | Last updated: Apr 7, 2014 - 9:39:39 AM
The newly renovated space includes such menu favorites as the Muslim fish hoagie, salmon steak, candied carrots, bean soup and bean pie. The reopening was a testament to the power of faith and pulling resources together.
“This is exciting for us because we’ve been closed for a few years now,” said Sharon Muhammad, owner and namesake of Sister Muhammad’s kitchen.
Sister Sharon and her husband Abdul Rahim Muhammad launched their initial restaurant in 1999 after years of selling dinners and wholesale baked goods out of their home. As demand increased, the couple eventually opened at the current location and the community immediately embraced the delicious Muslim menu.
In 2011, community reconstruction plans for the area where their restaurant is located were announced, which included luxury apartments and townhomes. In a neighborhood riddled with trash and violence, Sister Muhammad’s Kitchen was the only thriving business in that area and at first the announcement of changes seemed to mark the end of the restaurant.
But, it wasn’t! The community and the city planners requested the return of Sister Muhammad’s Kitchen post-renovations.
While planning the re-opening, Sister Sharon and Brother Abdul Rahim partnered with other Believers in the food industry to create a winning team—Art Muhammad (former owner of Nature’s Kitchen and known for his famous Muslim fish hoagie) and Keith and Tracy Muhammad (former owners of Your Bakery and Sandwich Shop known for their delicious bean pies and baked goods). Although their building was under renovation, the team worked together to put on fundraisers and sold dinners at Muhammad Mosque No. 12 to prepare for the kitchen’s return.
Now the restaurant has returned revamped and renewed. Originally Sister Muhammad’s Kitchen was only take-out, but now the space has an area for eating-in. The kitchen has also been remodeled with state-of-the-art appliances. The building is now spacious enough to host events, such as a recent comedy showcase featuring local talent. The grand re-opening took place March 15.
Through many tests and with the help of donations and support from the community and among Believers, Sister Muhammad’s is back to serving delicious selections to the people of Philadelphia.
“By following the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we have pooled our resources and united to bring back our unique menu and staple products,” said Sister Sharon. “We want to show what our unity can produce.”
(Shahida Muhammad is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter: @ShahidaMuhammad)