In honor of Black History Month, Uber Eats is highlighting some of our restaurant partners who are bringing culture and food together in the Southern California food scene.
Ron Suels, owner of StreetCar Merchants in San Diego, shared the inspiring story of how StreetCar Merchants carried on beloved family recipes. Growing up in Louisiana, Ron was surrounded by cooking. Being in the kitchen was a family tradition passed down by his great grandmother, Big Mama. However it wasn’t until Ron left Louisiana for San Diego that he took his love for cooking and family recipes to the masses. Here, he discovered many of the foods and customs he had grown up with were missing in the city’s food landscape, leading him to open Streetcar Merchants.
“I thought: ‘You know what, this is something that I want to do. Let’s bring soul food to the masses, and see if it works’,” Ron says. With no prior restaurant experience, Ron quit his job in the car business and opened up StreetCar Merchants in 2014 - a Southern eatery serving up authentic Louisiana comfort food. The restaurant has grown to become a beloved soul-food treasure in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego.
Beyond the delicious dishes, Ron shares his family traditions and culture through StreetCar Merchants. “That’s the one thing about culture - it’s all centered around food. The one thing we all have to do is eat!” Ron says.
“One dish of food can teach you so much about a culture you’ve never visited, about a country you’ve never seen, and about people you’ve never been around."
His most beloved dish? Red beans and rice. He can still remember growing up as a kid, living next door to his grandparents. His grandmother would make red beans every Monday - the traditional wash day. Ron tells of his time running off the school bus and into her house, making sure he got to the pot of beans before they ran out.
Ron puts his heart into his food and it’s impossible to not feel connected to joy and family when enjoying Streetcar Merchant meals. Order his red beans and rice inspired by his Big Mama on Uber Eats today.