Our family traces our roots back to Iraq, but we are proud to say that we never truly left our culture behind. As two of the ten Mandwee brothers that moved to Kalamazoo back in the early 1980s, we adjusted to the American culture as students at Western and as local businessmen. What began as a small liquor store by the carousel ice cream parlor has now become a fine wine and international specialty shop. To this day, we gaze at Tiffany’s in awe, as the business grew beyond our wildest dreams.
Now more than 30 years later, we realize how lucky we are to have settled into a city like Kalamazoo, so curious and open to learn about our Arabic heritage. The comfort and acceptance we feel in the southwest Michigan community motivated us to bring the culture that we miss back to life.
In the fall of 2009, Zooroona was born, embodying the values of our entire family. The company, run under the name of our late father, Faleh, represents much more than just a business. Every detail of the restaurant comes from a character of our incredibly large and loving family. If you ever sense that you are seeing familiar faces around the restaurant, it could be because Zooroona has become a part of our family dynamic.
A significant characteristic of Arabic culture is the desire and the ability to entertain guests in one’s home. Zooroona translates in English to “come visit us,” as we find it an honor to host you in this version of our home away from home.
So please enjoy the cultural experience we hope to bring to your table with each visit, and “Ahlan Wa Sehlan,” as you are always welcome.
Habib & Saad Mandwee