Met Food

Karim and Alika (1).jpg

Kareem's father Mike immigrated from Palestine to come to the United States. He first settled in Detroit and took a job on the assembly line at the Ford Motor Company. In the 1970's he realized Brooklyn was a good place to succeed and that there was opportunity in the grocery business. After he arrived here he bought a small store on Nostrand Avenue from an old Jewish man. Over the years he expanded the operation. Also his family grew. He arrived with three children and had three more once he settled in Brooklyn, altogether there are five boys and a girl. All of his sons, including Ash and Kareem, worked in the business and today are full time. Brooklyn is a good place to run a business but it was a rough place at first and over the years there were two recessions and two blackouts and numerous other problems to be dealt with, but the family stuck together and made Met Food a success. As conditions improved in Crown Heights, Kareem took a more and more active role in the business. He eventually married, had children and became a responsible manager of Met Food. The business is not an easy one. There is lots of physical labor, and he must conduct careful calculations adjusting quality and price to best serve the needs and desires of his customers, but one has to say that he has succeeded. More than anything else the store thrives on the basis of its involvement with the community, and it is not just getting the products that people want. To stand with Kareem on the sidewalk outside means that every few minutes he greets a customer by name with a warm hello and a few friendly words. The goodwill in the community is immense, and it goes beyond friendly chat. People have turned to Kareem's family for advice. For example, a couple took Mike's advice to heart. He told them, “God is not going to make any more land.” They invested in real estate and did very well. Many old customers who have moved away still come back to talk and catch up. Many more such stories could be told. However, Kareem does not want his children to take over the store. Perhaps he would like them to become professionals like his brother who became a lawyer. He regards the business as a hard one that wears people out. He has done very well; he wants his children to do even better.