Located in the Hamptons, the Beach Bakery and Grand Cafe is the only kosher establishment located in a 75 mile range. Last year, the owner decided to put it up for sale which worried the local Jewish community — what would happen if the new owner decided to discontinue the kosher items? Enter Rashid Sulehri, a local restaurateur and devout Muslim, who quickly snapped up the bakery-cafe and assured the local Jewish community that he would keep things kosher.
Rashid also saw the opportunity to introduce halal items to the menu, as the local Muslim community didn’t have their own cafe. “Being a Muslim, my beliefs are pretty close to the Jewish beliefs when it comes to food,” says Rashid. “And we have a very strong Muslim community in the area. Muslims lacked a facility that is halal, so we decided to make both communities very happy.”
Rabbi Marc Schneier of Westhampton Beach’s Orthodox Hampton Synagogue is happy to see the synergy of the two faiths represented in the bakery-cafe. “I often speak of Muslim-Jewish relations of our common faith. But when it comes to our stomachs, we also have a common fate. It’s a very beautiful, feel-good development for the Hamptons, for its Jewish community and for the greater population.”