Habib Discount

BY SADIA

WCCDA Narrative Series | One

SEPT 2022

292471688_719067962519895_6215238927767400942_n.jpg

Image by WCCDA

My name is Sadia. I am the owner of Habib Discount. We have had this store since 2014. Back then, I decided to open a store because I used to have to drive far away to Tukwila, Kent, or SeaTac to buy groceries for myself and my family. That was the experience for many Somali families who live in this area. So, when the opportunity came and this space became available, we started a grocery store. When the salon next door moved away, we were able to expand our store into that space so that we could sell more than just groceries. Even now, there are few Islamic stores around this area, and many of my customers come from far away because we have everything at the store, including halal food, clothes, blankets, carpets, Koran books, etc. We have customers from all races and ethnicities.

Image by WCCDA

Opening a store here in the United States as an immigrant was not easy for me. There were many rules and restrictions I had to learn and understand. But luckily, when I was back in Somalia, I had a small business. That experience really helped me with opening a store here. In the past 8 years, most things have been good. Running a store is demanding work, but I really enjoy it. I spend most of my days taking care of the store with the occasional help from others when I need to leave for something. Though the work is hard, having raised 2 kids, this work is easier in comparison. At the end of the day, I can still get some rest unlike taking care of children!

292637807_8013192172039259_6235730341910516804_n.jpg

The last few years have been really challenging for us and our community due to the pandemic. On top of that, this year our EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer/food stamp) (food stamp) was taken away due to some mailing issues which caused us to miss our re-authorization date. We are currently in the process of reinstatement which has been difficult. We are getting support from the WCCDA (White Center Community Development Association); however, the process is taking a long time. For a couple of months now, we have not been able to offer EBT to our customers, and they are having to drive farther away to purchase their groceries. We hope instead of making it harder for us, the government can help us with our reinstatement quickly so that we can continue to support our community with groceries.

Image by WCCDA

Owning a store is a way for my family to make a living. But for me, the best thing about owning a store is being able to provide for our customers and being able to build relationships with our community through the store. We have seen many changes in the White Center area throughout the years of being here. However, White Center is still a quiet place with good people. There is still a lot of need for Islamic food in this area. So, I hope in the future, I can continue to expand our store and provide more products for our community. In my free time, I enjoy cooking. If there is an opportunity, I would love to start cooking and selling Somali snacks to our community!

End of Narrative

Image by WCCDA