“My parents wanted something for the community here,” says Saja Saleh, Sameer and Ola’s daughter. “There wasn’t a Mediterranean grocery store anywhere near them; the closest one was a 20-minute drive or more.”
Sameer was born in Kuwait and lived among Palestine, Jordan and Kuwait growing up. He moved to New Jersey when he was 18. Ola was born and raised in Palestine and moved to New Jersey at 23.
Sameer and Ola started a family in New Jersey but moved to Coppell in 2009, after they grew tired of the cold winters and snow.
Sameer’s family owned a restaurant in New Jersey, so he had experience in the food industry before opening Rozana. Ola does marketing for the business and also developed the recipes for the restaurant.
Some of the most popular dishes are the falafel sandwich ($4.99), chicken shawarma ($11.99) and the mixed mashawi ($19.99 for two people, $34.99 for four).
The mixed mashawi is a good way to sample many of Rozana’s offerings: It comes with one skewer each of the shish tawook, shish kabob, kufta kabob and chicken kufta kabob. It’s also served with salad, hummus, rice and sauce.
All of the items on the menu are a good value. The most expensive sandwich is the shish kabob sandwich for $6.99. All of their salads, including the chicken salad, Greek salad, fatoush and tabouli, are $4.99.
The market accounts for most of the space in Rozana. It offers specialty Middle Eastern staples such as dry, canned and packaged goods, frozen items, refrigerated food, bread, produce and meat.
Many of the items come directly from Middle Eastern countries.
“All of the candies and chips and snacks that people grew up with, we have them,” Saja says.
The meat is butchered fresh daily and is halal, local and organic. You can find specific cuts as well as meat that has been marinated or seasoned in-house.
The hummus is made in-house.
“Grandma makes the labneh and olives,” Saja says. “It’s a family business; we are all involved.”
Saja attends the University of Texas at Dallas but works part time at Rozana.
“I like being a part of what goes on,” Saja says.
Her younger brothers also help out.
Since opening over two years ago, the reception has been warm.
“We’ve gotten members of the community that we knew and also those that we’ve never seen before,” Saja says. “We met a lot of friends through this place. We fill a void in Coppell for international cuisine and Mediterranean restaurants in general.”
Rozana Market and Restaurant, 920 S. Belt Line Road, Coppell. Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.