During the month of Ramadan fast, Muslims break their daily fast with Iftar, enjoying an evening together. They are then able to eat one larger meal, Suhoor, before continuing with the fast at sunrise again. While many are sound asleep in their homes, a local business person in Dearborn, Michigan has taken advantage of these hours and seen it as an opportunity to bring in more business for his bakery. The neighborhood experiences a change in lifestyle, as Muslims go out for suhoor in the early hours of the morning during the summer month.
While there are other businesses in the area which have changed their hours to accommodate their Ramadan customers, they still lose out on a lot of business, as they tend to close during the daytime.
Golden Bakery has two businesses, and owner, Hussein Hammoud takes full advantage of Ramadan. His bakery in Dearborn is open twenty-four hours a day, and the other bakery in Dearborn Heights is open for most of the day, closing for only a few hours. Customers can order a variety of meals including mana'eesh, which is a flat bread, vegetable and meat pies and fresh bread straight out the oven. The menu enables them to have a good meal to see them through their next day of fasting.
The employees at the bakery have become accustomed to their changes in the schedule during Ramadan. Zaid Alnasiry works every day of the week from midnight until five in the morning. He goes to the gym after work and attends classes as well, while getting a bit of shut-eye before going back to work.
The bakery tends to be at its busiest on weekends, with families coming in with their children. The Suhoor, during early hours of the morning, sees the bakery frequented by minors and young adults. Many of them try to eat before going to bed to make the following days fast a little easier. Although it is rather costly to eat out every day, they find that it has become much like a tradition for them. With so many customers in the early morning, some of Dearborn's residents stop by the bakery at other times when it is much quieter.
In the US, Ramadan occurs during the hot summer, and many find it difficult to fast, as the days are longer, and they need to watch their fluid intake in the heat. The summer and its long, hot days have allowed for a more profitable business for the bakery during Suhoor. What's more, the students have their recess, and they bring a lot of business as they enjoy being out and about during this time with their friends. Others in the neighborhood may not be fasting but can take advantage of the additional opening hours at the bakery, which is, of course, convenient for them.
The Golden Bakery continues to open its doors to the Dearborn community throughout the year and cater for the Suhoor lifestyle during Ramadan.