This summer, Saami Somi is bringing Georgian-inspired cuisine to Reading Terminal Market. Owners Michael and Donna Kolodesh will offer classic dishes including hot breads, pkhali, khinkali, khachapuri, eggplant rolls, and cheese boats. In addition to prepared foods, Saami Somi will sell a variety of grocery items like ajika, tkemali, fresh baked breads, and Georgian drinks.
“Saami Somi will bring unique flavors popular in other parts of Philadelphia to Center City via Reading Terminal Market and introduce customers to this European comfort food,” said Annie Allman, CEO and General Manager of Reading Terminal Market. “The melting pot of cultures and flavors to be offered aligns with the diverse range of cuisines available at Philadelphia’s historic public market. We think Saami Somi will be a fast favorite among locals and tourists.”
Michael and Donna are siblings with backgrounds in design and architecture but will pursue a passion for food inspired by their grandmothers with Saami Somi. The duo will work with an executive chef who provides an Eastern European Background and a general manager who is family with Reading Terminal Market. Their family immigrated from Georgia in 1993 and settled in Philadelphia’s Bustleton neighborhood which boasts a large ex-Soviet community.
“Georgian food is the basis of life – meat, bread, cheese, and vegetables. It looks intriguing and new but it hits home for everyone because of the blend of comforting flavors,” said Michael Kolodesh, co-owner, Saami Somi. “We are passionate about bringing Georgian culture to Philadelphia and know we can touch the most amount of people in Center City. It’s a dream come true to be opening at Reading Terminal Market.”
Saami Somi translates to “three doughs” and referencing the various doughs used in Georgian cooking. Khinkali utilizes a dumpling-like dough, khachapuri is made with yogurt-based dough, and the cheeseboats are formed from fermented dough.
“We wanted to incorporate our family’s culture and traditions into the Saami Somi menu. We recently went back to Georgia to see our grandmother’s house, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and were inspired to showcase the foods our family grew up on to the Philadelphia community,” said Donna Kolodesh, co-owner, Saami Somi. “Opening a space at Reading Terminal is the perfect way to introduce this cuisine. We can’t wait for customers to try our dishes.”
Saami Somi is targeting an opening at Reading Terminal Market later this month and be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week. Their space will be located at the intersection of avenues C and 10.