Haitian eatery fills void in Milford

Elourdes Pierre opened Sisters Caribbean Restaurant in Riverwalk Shopping Center in Milford in November. (Delaware State News/Jennifer Antonik)

MILFORD — When Elourdes Pierre moved to Milford three years ago from Florida, she quickly discovered she would have to go without a homecooked, Haitian meal unless she made it herself.

Realizing she wasn’t the only Milfordian with a Haitian background in need of their own style of comfort food, she started dreaming of opening her own restaurant to provide that niche cuisine. She opened her new business, Sisters Caribbean Restaurant, quietly in November in Riverwalk Shopping Center and held a grand opening on Dec. 2.

“I love to cook, that’s my passion. When I came here, I said, ‘Oh, my gosh. There’s no Haitian restaurant in Delaware.’ So, I’ll open one,” Ms. Pierre said.

The revelation came as a shock to her, she added, saying there was a Haitian restaurant “on every corner” near her home in Florida. This was good news for her family who traced its roots back to Haiti where Ms. Pierre learned to cook.

Moving to Milford might not be that different than her home in Florida, she thought. After all, her sister had lived here for about six years at that point. She would at least have family in the area. But food is comforting. After working at Perdue Farms in Milford for two and a half years, Ms. Pierre decided enough was enough — she needed to start achieving her dreams.

The process took 10 months of hard work and hard-earned money before she could open her doors to her first customers. To prepare her space, she painted the walls, did minor repairs to the unit previously occupied by Bibi’s Restaurant and added a few walls or shelving units, along with furniture, kitchen appliances and other needs.

“Oh yes, I did it. I am pleased,” she said proudly with the confidence of a new business owner while looking around the space she created. “Others have been here for 16, 20 years and said they wanted to open a restaurant to have their own food but didn’t. I tried asking people to go in with me, but they said no. So, I had to do it myself. It’s a relief to be open.”

She now has the help of several family members in the area who can cook and support the business in a variety of ways.

“I want people to come and try our food. And this is new, too. There’s no Caribbean food in Milford. Well, there is now. We have Mexican, Puerto Rican, Italian, Greek, but we had no Caribbean or Jamaican restaurant. Now that we’re here, I want people to come and experience our food.”

For others sharing a dream of entrepreneurship, she offers encouragement, saying, “Don’t be scared. Even if it’s only you, don’t be. You’re going to find people helping you along the way. I have people helping me, giving me ideas. If I didn’t do anything, I would be still stuck.”

Sisters Caribbean Restaurant is closed on Mondays, but opens at 11 a.m. the rest of the week. Call 302-503-7225 or email at sisterscaribbean@gmail.com. It is at 277 N. E. Front Street in Milford, near Gigante and Family Dollar.