By Jenna Pierson
Holy Chow!, the kosher Chinese restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland that opened last March, has had an incredibly successful first year of business, according to its owners.
“My joke for when people ask me about how business is, is that we are still happily married,” said Ami Schreiber, co-owner of Holy Chow!
When Schreiber and his wife, co-owner Rivka realized there was a need to be filled in the kosher food business and an opportunity to do so in a shopping plaza close to home, they enthusiastically took the plunge.
Holy Chow! is unique in nature asone of the only kosher Chinese restaurants between Florida and Baltimore. The business provides an opportunity for those who are observant to be able to partake in the same quick, prepared meal luxury that is so vital for many busy and working families.
“People were ready to jump out of their skin to get here, and it was a huge influx,” said Ami of the initial opening on March 6th, 2018, and the weeks following. After a few setbacks with several turnovers of staff, Holy Chow! finally found their rhythm towards the end of the summer with reliable workers and preparation consistency.
“The business has definitely gone from insanity to controlled chaos as we have learned how to handle things during this time and expectations have been set,” Ami said.
Within the past year, Holy Chow! has expanded its business to include catering for events and delivery—they deliver directly within the Silver Spring area and provide central delivery checkpoints in various other suburbs several days a week, including College Park. The radius for weekly delivery now stretches to over a dozen miles from the store’s central location in Silver Spring.
“Monday nights we deliver centrally to College Park, Tuesday nights to DC, Wednesday nights to Potomac, and Thursdays we hope to be able to incorporate Rockville,” Ami said.
Individuals can also place their orders, pay separately and then meet at a certain location for pickup. For the Silver Spring area, the door-to-door delivery fee is five dollars on orders of 25 dollars or more.
Additionally, Holy Chow! provides free delivery to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring and delivers to parents awaiting pickup for their children at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville.
“Catering has really exploded,”Ami said . “We’ve done catering for every major university in the area and various other businesses and community centers.”
For Holy Chow! and its staff, it is important that they are uplifting families in the Jewish community and still making time for their own families—they are closed on Saturdays for the Sabbath and plan to keep it that way.
“Obviously we went into this wanting to make a profit, but for us it has always been more,” Ami said. “We really aren’t in competition with other kosher businesses in the greater Washington area because what we offer isn’t the same, so we are able to all support others without a cut-throat nature and I think that is really important.”
“I want to show them [this community] that they are worth investing in and that they deserve it,” Rivka said. “I really wouldn’t do it for anybody else.”
With Holy Chow! less than a half hour’s drive from this university and its ability to provide delivery and takeout options, it’s a perfect place to eat for students who want something to enjoy a night out with friends or a convenient option for food during a study session at Hillel.
“Holy Chow! is fantastic and I love that it is kosher,” said Adina Schwartz, a junior psychology major. “Their lunch specials are the best and I definitely recommend their General Chow’s Chicken.”