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SUBURBAN SQUARE

Anderson & Coulter Avenue
Ardmore, PA 19003
10am – 6pm Monday – Saturday
12pm – 6pm Sunday

 

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d highlight one of our many examples of keeping things in the family here at Suburban Square.

If you frequent the Ardmore Farmers Market, you may have been lucky enough to try the delicious homemade Middle Eastern cuisine at Tabouli. Mona Safadi has been the chef and owner since Tabouli opened its doors in 2013, and as both a business owner and a mother, her philosophy on cooking and the importance of family and community is at the helm of everything she does.

We sat down with her son, Keenan, to hear his family’s story and hear firsthand how his mother built their business from their kitchen to their very own storefront in Ardmore.

 

Mona Safadi

 

Where it all began

Mona has always been a great chef, but the Tabouli business began when Keenan’s friends started coming over for dinner. They couldn’t get enough, and Mona was often hired to cook meals for their families to enjoy. What started off as a few weekly customers quickly began growing into something bigger.

“For my friend’s 18th birthday party, their family ordered a huge catering order for about 50 to 60 people,” Keenan says. “Everyone at the party was mind blown by the food, and she ended up taking on more customers.”

As word caught on, it was clear that Mona’s cooking was in high demand, and that’s when she knew it was time to think bigger. Tabouli first opened up shop at a market in Rosemont, and eventually, they landed here at the Ardmore Farmers Market, where they’ve added an abundance of wonderful flavor to our urban village.

 

Mona knows best

Besides being downright tasty, Mona’s cooking is authentic and health-conscious, which is a perfect fit for us.

“Our food is homemade, authentic Mediterranean food. People see a lot of value in that because it’s super healthy and there are so many different ingredients for people to enjoy,” says Keenan. “There are a lot of great vendors in the market and customers who come to this market. It’s a high-end place, and people really care about the family feel.”

Tabouli is a hit with our visitors, and the family-owned restaurant makes taking out or dining in easy and delicious. How? They like to think they’re in between a restaurant and a take-out joint.

“We call ourselves a deli—kind of,” Keenan explains. “It’s restaurant-quality food in a deli style. We chose our menu based on food that’s very sustainable and will last every day of the week for lunch.”

“Everything is cooked fresh every day, so we basically have zero food waste. We don’t like to waste anything—my mother is a big believer in that,” Keenan adds. “Whatever we can use up, we use up.”

If there’s one thing that Mona taught Keenan when it comes to cooking for people, it’s to always care about the quality. He says his mother’s motto is, “If I wouldn’t eat it, then I won’t serve it.”

“My mom is the backbone of our restaurant—she keeps things in sync,” says Keenan. “She’s very organized, and everything is always clean. She keeps it simple, truthful, and ethical.”

 

Celebrating Moms everywhere

Mothers are worthy of celebration every day, but on an occasion like Mother’s Day, there’s an extra reason to show your mom or favorite mother-figure some love. Keenan knows how special his mom is, and his Mother’s Day message is simple and heartfelt: “I love you, Mom! Without her, there’s no purpose for anything.”

Mothers are worthy of celebration every day, but on an occasion like Mother’s Day, there’s an extra reason to show your mom or favorite mother-figure some love. Keenan knows how special his mom is, and his Mother’s Day message is simple and heartfelt: “I love you, Mom! Without her, there’s no purpose for anything.”

We are proud to have so many great mothers who work and shop with us here at Suburban Square. Next time you’re in the Ardmore Farmers Market, we suggest swinging by Tabouli—you’ll be able to taste the love. Happy Mother’s Day!