BLUEFIELD, WV (LOOTPRESS) – “Service with a smile” is a slogan commonly used throughout the service industry, and it’s something that perhaps no one knows more about than Sunny himself of the Sunny Days eatery.
The namesake owner and operator of Sunny Days at the Mercer Mall, Sunny is a walking, talking depiction of the American dream. Having arrived in the U.S. from Pakistan nearly two decades ago, Sunny set forth on his journey armed with little more than a dream and the determination to make it happen.
“I came from Pakistan 17-18 years ago,” he explains. “I didn’t know the difference between mayonnaise and mustard the first day I started.”
The resolve was strong however, and it wasn’t long before the entrepreneur had earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees stateside, at a time when Beckley’s WVU Tech (West Virginia University Institute of Technology) campus was still home to Mountain State University.
Setting up shop at Bluefield’s Mercer Mall, Sunny Days has relocated from the far side of the building to the mall’s food court location, joining established favorites such as Chick-fil-A, Subway, and others. Despite lacking the national recognition of a chain restaurant, Sunny Days continues to operate not only on the strength of the “lip smackin’ snackin'” and comfort food for which it is known, but also of relationships formed through years of serving the local community.
“I meet so many people in the community who will say, ‘my family and I used to come here all the time,’ or ‘when I was little you gave me free ice cream,’ and that makes me really happy every time,” the business owner explains with a characteristic grin.
Indeed, it is on the power of positivity and generosity that the business has managed to flourish in spite of an arduous economic climate which has been particularly exacting with regard to small and locally owned businesses. Even in the face of opportunities which stand to offer a greater financial reward, it is the relationships established with the people of Mercer County and the Mercer Mall patrons, Sunny says, which make the Sunny Days endeavor unquestionably worthwhile.
“I’m happy because I love what I’m doing,” he exclaims, and it’s an attitude which is readily apparent the moment one sets foot into the Sunny Days locale.
From sandwiches, wings, and hot dogs to bbq, salad, and the walking taco (taco in a bag,) Sunny Days has customers covered regardless of which way their appetites happen to be leaning on any given day. Also available at the establishment are coffee, signature drinks such as strawberry lemonade and caramel frappes, and even delicious Hershey’s ice cream by the scoop.
Perhaps more than anything though, the story of Sunny Days is about the power of perspective, kindness, and belief in one’s self. As Sunny himself so succinctly puts it,
“The guy who didn’t know the difference between mayonnaise and mustard is still here.”
Sunny Days can be found at 261 Mercer Mall Rd in Bluefield, West Virginia, and additional LOOTPRESS coverage for Mercer County can be found here.