Saturday, February 5, 2011

AMEFIKA'S: Food For The Soul

Company Name: AMEFIKA'S Restaurant
Company Address:
642 Stuyvesant Avenue, Trenton, NJ
Company Phone Number: (609) 394-7979
Company Hours:
11 am to 11 pm Tuesday-Sunday
Facebook Page:

Today, I was fortunate enough to sit down with the owner and operator of Trenton's well-known Amefika's Restaurant located on Stuvesant Avenue, Amefika Sababu. AMEFIKA'S, a staple here in the city of Trenton, has been servicing the community for over thirty five years now. One customer, S.F., gave an online review of the restaurant that truly summarizes the great things AMEFIKA'S  has been doing here in the city of Trenton. He said, "I would like to give Amefikas Restaurant a 5 star rating not only because the food is great but the customer service is great as well. I really would like to thank the owners for staying around for as long as they have and also thank you for serving us in the neighborhood and surrounding area the same great quality food you did when you first opened. More restaurants can learn from your establishment that no matter how long they've been open, never forget what kept 'em there and in business, peace."

Indeed, AMEFIKA'S offers everything from chicken to beef, you name it, they have it. From the moment you speak to the owner, Amefika, you can tell he truly puts his heart into what he does. At AMEFIKA'S, they take pride in offering first-rate customer service to go along with quality food at reasonable prices. Trust me, you don't want to miss AMEFIKA'S for lunch or dinner. Below you will find copy of Anwar's Reflections exclusive interview with Amefika Sababu.

AGS: Please tell our audience a little more about AMEFIKAS?

Well, its a fast food restaurant. We have a menu that offers quite a variety. Our menu carries everything from sandwiches to casseroles. We have dinners and snacks. We use whole wheat rolls for all of our sandwiches. Some of our sandwiches are named after members of my family. For instance, we have a fish sandwich called the Truth. The reason we call this sandwich the Truth is because as kids my father would always cook for us. After he finished cooking, he  would look at the expression on our faces and say 'that aint nothin' but the Truth'. We also have a fish sandwich called the Comeback, once you have one we guarantee you'll be back for another. We also have a sandwich called the Standback, named  after my grandmother, Mother Standback. We try to sell this food at reasonable prices with quality. We offer good service. We make it a point to give back to the community. We have a 20% discount for senior citizens everyday. You can go on and visit our Facebook page. Every week we post a quote to our page, if you come in and tell us what the quote is and who said it, we give you 10% off your order.

AGS: What is your background? Is this your first time owning and operating your own business?

I've been in business for 35 years now. Prior to owning my own business, I worked under chef Winbagget at Westminister College. However, while I was there I had a bad experience. I got fired. After this occurred, I was inspired to start this business. Along with being fired, I was also motivated by Malcolm [X]. As a younger man,  I went to see a movie on Malcolm X and black nationalism. In the movie, he was saying that you should control things in your community, from politics to business and education. I wanted to contribute to my community in this way.

AGS: What motivated you to start your own business?

As stated earlier, after having that unfortunate event at Westminister College, I decided to start my own business. In addition, I was influenced by Malcolm X and black nationalism.

AGS: How did you come up with the name Amefikas?

Well, its a Swahili name, it was given to me by my wife. My wife and I changed our name legally because we are African peoples in America. My name literally means "the child has arrived".

AGS: What makes Amefikas unique?

Well, we don't sell any pork products. We offer good food at affordable prices. We take pride in offering quality customer service. 

AGS: Did you face any challenges in launching your business? If so, how did you overcome those challenges?

Of course. When I got fired from Westminster College, I went to the bank and applied for a loan. A couple of days later, I received a letter in the mail saying that I was denied the loan because I did not have equity. They said I lacked equity. I did not understand this. I followed up on this, they said 'well let me reconsider'. They did, and then the next day they approved me for the loan. That was the first hurdle. The next obstacle we faced basically amounted to human beings being creatures of habit and not understanding why we did not serve pork. Not everyone was on board with us not selling pork, initially. But we overcame that as well. In the beginning it was also a challenge to come home with only $85 after working from 11 am to 11 pm. But with the support of my wife and family, I made it through thankfully. The great news is that by hanging in there we were able to increase our daily revenue greatly.

AGS:  How do you advertise or promote your business?

Our business promotes itself through word of mouth. However, we have a jar where customers can write their name and number on a slip of paper where they have a chance of winning an Amefikas t-shirt.

AGS: Have you taken advantage of internet marketing? If so, how effective do you think internet marketing is?

We have a Facebook page. I hope that it works but a majority of my customers come from word of mouth. In the near future, I want to have my daughter take over the business, she might be able to really take advantage of internet marketing.

AGS: What advice would you give an up and coming entrepreneur that wants to be successful as well?

Keep your credit good. Establish good credit. Another thing to remember: if you don't want to serve the people, this is not for you. Open up your ears and listen to your customers. Keep an open mind. Always try to do better, if you don't know, talk to someone that does.

AGS: Will you give us another in the near future just to check on your progress?

That sounds good.

AGS is an acronym for the author and founder of Anwar's Reflections, Anwar G. Salandy.

1 comment:

  1. This restaurant sounds cool. Can't wait to go. My name is also Amefika. Given to me by my Rastafarian dad. It's a pleasure to see our name on such an establishment. Much success to you brother.