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'It makes us proud:' P.E.I. restaurant owner confident she can survive costly scam

Sara Sadat is confident she can keep her Charlottetown restaurant called Sadat's Cuisine open despite a costly scam thanks to strong support from customers coming in to dine. JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN
Sara Sadat is confident she can keep her Charlottetown restaurant called Sadat's Cuisine open despite a costly scam thanks to strong support from customers coming in to dine. JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Sara Sadat is optimistic 2020 will bring better fortune.

Sadat feared she would have to close her restaurant last year after a costly scam left her scrambling to pay the bills.

Many customers have responded to her plight by making a concerted effort to dine at Sadat’s Cuisine on University Avenue.

“(Customers) were saying they don’t want us to close,’’ she told The Guardian Friday.

“It makes us proud.’’

Sadat opened the restaurant, which serves up traditional Middle Eastern and Afghan dishes prepared using old family recipes, more than five years after fleeing turmoil in her native Afghanistan.

She and her husband, Said Akbar, worked hard, along with their children, to get the business off the ground at its first location at the corner of Cumberland and Grafton Street.

“We had some good business. Thank God we got over some of our debts.’’

Unexpected hit

Sara took an unexpected hit in 2019 when she lost more than $10,000 in a scam that involved a man using a stolen credit card to order food for 80 people and convincing Sara to e-transfer thousands of dollars for a catering expense he promised to reimburse.

On top of that, the company she used for credit and debit charges is chasing her for $12,281 in outstanding debt which also arose from the scam.

Sara has been adamant all along that she does not want pity or charity to dig her out of a financial pinch. Steady business, however, is very welcome.

Customers have obliged.

“We had some good business,’’ she said.

“Thank God we got over some of our debts.’’

There have been some busy nights at Sadat’s Cuisine that left Sara scurrying in the kitchen and Said Akbar hustling with plates of food.

Sara, though, will not complain about having to work hard. She would only be upset if she was not able to keep the restaurant running.

“I do not want to close the doors,’’ she says. “I want to keep doing this.’’

Now, she is confident she can.


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