Currently operating as a food truck and offering catering, Cairo’s Kitchen, a traditional Egyptian restaurant is opening a brick and mortar location in the Exchange Building in spring 2021. But, if you were to ask Ramy Rezkalla and his family a year ago, cooking and selling their mother’s food, let alone opening a restaurant was never on their horizon. “We actually were not planning on doing anything like this at all, it wasn’t in the back of our minds or anything,” said Ramy. “What really led to Cairo’s Kitchen was we were trying to help our mom.”
Over the past decade, Ramy and his family including his father Adel, sister Remonda, brother David, and mother Salwa have progressively moved to the U.S. from Egypt, with his mother moving last. As the family waited months for the confirmation of Salwa’s social security information and thus her ability to work in an organization, they wanted to provide her an outlet. While each has a full-time job, they organized a temporary food license for a food stand at the Farmers Market and committed to helping run the operation while Salwa prepared the food.
“Everybody started loving the food. So, we switched from a temporary license to a permanent food truck license and expanded out,” said Ramy. “We have all been very excited that we just wanted to take it to the next level. Having a brick and mortar is very beneficial and convenient because you have a fixed space. Your customers know where you’re going to be.”
Still relatively new to the Kalamazoo area, Ramy, his wife Kimberly and the entire family have felt welcomed to the area and are excited to be a part of exciting changes that they see. “We really love Kalamazoo,” said Ramy. “There’s so much diversity and people are really interested in trying different things. That’s why we picked downtown.”
While Ramy wouldn’t share too many details on what to expect in the new restaurant, he and his family are excited to provide Kalamazoo a new and unique experience. Working with PlazaCorp to develop the plans, he described the space as “something that hasn’t been done in Kalamazoo.” In the next couple of weeks, PlazaCorp will reveal the plans for the space and don’t worry, we’ll have it for you here in FIRST & 42.