nadim the chef

This is My Story...

January 6th 2015 marks a great mile stone in my life. 25 years ago, I landed at JFK International Airport in New York from Monrovia, Liberia where I resided for three months in my birth country. I left Liberia heading to the states to escape their civil war.

After being here for a few months, I started working at a deli, which was a big change from my sales position that I held in Lebanon. I worked for a couple of delis where I came to appreciate some good Jewish food especially corn beef. I always had the itch for sales, and after three years in the food business, I took a job in sales working for Boch Mitsubishi in Norwood, MA and then moved to Nashua Mitsubishi in Nashua, NH closer to where my wife and I resided in Woburn, MA. During my employment at my last deli job at north station deli, it's where I met my wife Jodi. She was a customer and asked for seafood salad sandwich for dine in and she will take the cook to go (good pick up line). 

After working for a few months at Nashua Mitsubishi I met one of the Hannoush cousins and was offered a job at the Hannoush Jewelers in Nashua. It was a job that I enjoyed immensely helping customers through their happy purchases and most importantly meeting this great and humble family. After I was transferred to Saugus and then the Peabody store to assist in managing that location, I worked for the Hannoush family from 1995-1998. After being passed on a promotion to manage the Nashua store the decision was made to leave and accept another sales position with E. B. Horn company in Boston downtown crossing, I was there from 1998-2000. The experience that I gained from that company was huge and by the time I left E.B. Horn, I was the pearl buyer for them.

nadim cooking

In 2000, the opportunity presented itself and I was able to purchase then what was called Café Lebanon from a bank, I gave my two week's notice and my wife and I picked up our lives and moved from Lawrence, MA to Springfield, MA. My wife accepted a job at Baystate hospital as a nurse and I started working on my new venture and having it ready to open. I named the restaurant Nadim's Café Lebanon and opened for business in July 2000 at 141 State Street. 

In 2005, the current location became available and I decided to move the restaurant to it at 1390 Main St. In 2011 the name was changed to Nadim's Downtown and the menu become broader and included more Mediterranean items. People always ask which culinary school I attended and my reply is when I got married neither one of us knew how to cook and one of us had to learn otherwise we will be eating every meal out (my wife doesn't like this answer lol). I learned a lot by asking my mom, aunt, my brother-in-law and anyone and everyone that knows anything and everything about food for recipes and experimenting on our guests at home.

This journey has been a great one for me. I am blessed with a great wife, my two healthy kids, Amir 11 and Amani 9, my friends and customers that have been a great part of my life and a successful business. I am looking forward for the next years to come and have exciting things to come. 

Thank you for being part of my 25 years in this great country. 
Nadim K.