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Cafe Arazu is located in Newburgh, Indiana on the riverfront at 17 West Jennings Street in Warrick County and is owned by Penny and Ben Nejad. Cafe Arazu offers “world class cuisine with a neighborhood feel.”
The restaurant opened in 2010 and Penny Nejad selected the name to highlight her desire for the new restaurant. “Arazu means wish or desire in Persian and one of my goals in providing this fusion of mainly Middle Eastern cuisines, is to provide a space where people of all ethnicity and intellectual backgrounds can gather and celebrate what they have in common, rather than stew over differences. And who doesn’t appreciate exploring the culture of food, especially when the cuisine is so rich with spice, texture, and complexity! We strive to be a positive space and a place to celebrate, not denigrate each other. I believe the customers and staff members who are drawn to us implicitly believe in this vision of harmony, tolerance, and peace (hence the olive branch in our sign/logo) My wish is that together perhaps we can make this admittedly wishful thinking come closer to reality,” Penny said. The restaurant currently employs 28 people.
The Nejad’s began working with the Southwest Indiana Small Business Development Center (SWISBDC) in July of 2010 requesting assistance with financial planning, business strategy and tax assistance. Business Advisor Pete Sabella worked with Ben and Penny to set up Quickbooks for financial management and continued to work with them through the next several months to handle training of employees on the system and troubleshooting problems as they occurred. Sabella also assisted with business planning to fulfill Penny’s desire for Cafe Arazu. In addition to the initial help requested by the Nejad’s, Sabella was able to assist them in purchasing another business and is currently helping with plans for their next investment.
The assistance offered by Sabella and the SWISBDC to the Nejad’s had an economic impact of $730,000 to the southwest Indiana region.
For more information about Cafe Arazu, visit their website at www.cafe-arazu.com.