Somali immigrant opens small retail market in Kennewick
A new store catering to east African immigrants with halal meat, handmade furniture and clothing from Turkey has opened in Kennewick.
Elias Reda and his family opened Elias Halal and Designer Imports at 4603 W. Clearwater Ave., a storefront tucked next to Leisure Pool & Spa and across from Winco Foods, in a space once occupied by a locksmith.
Reda offers handmade furniture, bedding and area rugs imported to the Tri-Cities after being hand-selected by his mother during a visit to Turkey.
The Somali immigrant escaped to the U.S. in the 1990s after war broke out.
He and his family found the cost of living much more affordable in the Tri-Cities and relocated to Kennewick a few years ago after spending decades in Seattle.
Reda has a full-time job at a Kennewick gas station but wanted to open the store to pursue his own dream of entrepreneurship and to offer items that he didn’t find available locally.
The small store sells halal beef and chicken, which is a specific cultural method of butchering the animal preferred by Muslims.
Imported spices and toiletries also are sold, including incense, beauty products and henna powder.
The designer import side of the store offers full-coverage dresses and made-to-order styles using fabric bought in Turkey.
The family also sells leather purses and costume jewelry from Dubai.
Reda is a retailer of h2o Wireless phone cards, which can provide inexpensive unlimited talk and text phone plans, which he feels can be crucial for those who recently immigrated to the U.S. and are looking for employment.
Elias Halal and Designer Imports is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
Call 509-572-2431 for more information.