There's a new restaurant coming to : Mohammed Abady and Sherry Rouhani, the husband and wife team who own of and Blackberry Catering, are opening Choice.
Choice will offer items made-from-scratch Middle Eastern and Greek dishes inspired by the couple's upbringing and culinary travels, among other offerings based on food found in the Mediterranean basin. Choice is set to open in November at 7807 Clayton Rd., the space formerly occupied by Gourmet to Go.
Before settling in St. Louis, Abady worked for Marriott International. He traveled to Cairo, London, Boston and other cities. Menu choices at Blackberry Cafe include Vietnamese latte, baba ghanouj, tabouli and hummus reflect his cooking escapades.
Choice, along with the Mediterranean options, will also provide a space for customers to have reunions and family meals at reasonable prices. While the restaurant will have a regular chef, Rouhani would also like to hire private chefs who specialize in specific cuisines for private functions.
The couple's philosophy is to put love and healthy ingredients into their cooking. They have an inviting warmth.
Choice will offer organic and non-organic options. Rouhani is a proponent of healthy, unprocessed and natural foods. Along with Abady, she is committed to serving delicious, fresh and affordable meals.
The couple live modestly in Clayton and personify the mom-and-pop ideal.
"We care more about the people we serve than the profits," Rouhani said. "Of course, we have to make money to pay the 50 people who work for us and to pay the bills, but you will see that our markup is much less than other organic options."
Blackberry Catering provides organic meals to local children through Youth in Need and the Urban League. It also serves individual families. Blackberry Catering provides on-site chefs for schools with kitchens. It involves kids in sandwich-ingredient choices and mini-cooking classes.
Blackberry Catering cooks meals in its own kitchen and delivers them to schools that do not have a kitchen.
Abady and Rouhani are quite busy. In addition to opening Choice, they are redecorating Blackberry Cafe and expanding Blackberry Catering. They purchased 7,500 square feet for the expansion of Blackberry Catering. Half of the space will be used for an organic garden, and its fruits, vegetables and herbs will be used at Choice. The garden will be tended by employees, and parts of it will be used by members of the community.
Rouhani hopes to give people the opportunity to grow and sell their own vegetables back to Choice. Rouhani also owns Confirmative, a printing and promotion company, out of her home. She has helped battered women, single mothers and others in need get back on their feet by providing them with employment opportunities.
Whether it's a meal from Choice, Blackberry Cafe or Blackberry Catering, the love and healthy ingredients are evident in every bite.