2425 18th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Members of our community like you demand healthy, affordable dining. But finding a place that fits the bill in your neighborhood isn’t always easy.
Ten years ago Scott and Arianne Bennett had a dream to bring tasty, moderately-priced Middle Eastern food to the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area. Inspired by the falafel shops sprinkled across Amsterdam, the Bennetts aspired to bring the flavors of Europe and the Middle East to Washington, D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, and perhaps beyond.
Thus the idea of Amsterdam Falafelshop was born. But the restaurant’s owners struggled during a renovation project that consumed Adams Morgan from 2010 to 2012. The work to build improvements in the neighborhood would make Adams Morgan more navigable for bicyclists and pedestrians, but also made it harder for the Bennetts to operate their business, according to the Scott Bennett.
“Our business growth came to a screeching halt,” Scott Bennett said. “Wacif came to our assistance with a five-year loan, and helped us survive until the end of the project.”
With the loans of $80,000 and $35,000 that Wacif provided, the Bennetts were able to maintain staffing levels rather than laying off two people. The firm now employs 20 people in four states.
“And, frankly, we stayed in business instead of rolling down a hill of decline as our neighborhood struggled to make it with such diminished foot-traffic and parking,” Scott Bennett added.
Now that the Adams Morgan renovation project is complete, Scott and Arianne Bennett have seen their sales skyrocket, and their shop, which opened more than 10 years ago, is on a path of growth. Today, Amsterdam Falafelshop may be found in two locations in Boston, Mass.; one in Arlington, Va., one in Annapolis, Md.; and at two locations in Washington, D.C. (in addition to their Adams Morgan shop).
“Amsterdam Falafelshop is so grateful for the support of your staff as you pursue the mission of supporting Washington, DC’s small businesses,” said Scott Bennett.