Saudi Gazette – A Saudi woman opens the first all-female restaurant in Al-Ahsa.
The owner of the restaurant, who called herself Al-Sheikha, said she inherited her talent in culinary arts from her mother.
“People used to call my mom Al-Sheikha because of her talents in the kitchen. Now that I have inherited her gift and have opened my own restaurant, I’m asking people to call me Al-Sheikha as well. I was hesitant of opening own restaurants but my family was very encouraging,” she said.
Al-Sheikha said she was a cook since childhood.
“I used to only cook for my family and friends but now I can share my menu with the rest of the people in Al-Ahsa. I started cooking professional when I was in high school. I would cook for occasions and festivities,” said Al-Sheikha.
She also said she started an Instagram account and began widening her clientele.
“I wanted to expand my service even more and bring it to the local market. I wanted to open my own restaurant. I attended business school to learn how to start a business and presented a study of my future restaurant,” said Al-Sheikha.
She said her study received a lot of praise and she was the only one who passed among 28 other people who submitted business ideas.
“I had a very clear vision of my restaurant. I wanted it to be a women-only restaurant and kitchen to encourage other women who are passionate about cooking to work for me and learn from my experience. I also wanted it to focus on traditional dishes of the region so people can never lose the traditional flavor of Al-Ahsa,” said Al-Sheikha.
She said she herself went to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and got her business license to open her own restaurant.
“My dream is finally realized and I am grateful to my family for their encouragement. I am also grateful to my customers who were very positive and constructive in their criticism,” said Al-Sheikha.