Sista’s Chicken & Fish is new to a very chaotic scene

The new business navigates the pandemic and today’s climate.
Freddie and Nisa Carter in their food truck sista's
Photo by Romulo Ueda
Freddie (left) and Nisa Carter started Sista’s Chicken & Fish in June 2020. The food truck is participating in Black Restaurant Week.

Along with COVID-19, another hurdle for Americans came at the end of May. Generations of systemic racism came to a boil after the killing of George Floyd. His death sparked increased awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement and resulted in a surge of support for Black-owned businesses.

“There is an emphasis on being a Black-owned business, and we wear that as a badge of honor,” says Freddie Carter, one of the owners of Sista’s Chicken & Fish, a Madison-based food cart. “I think [since then] there are people who may have not tried our food that have enjoyed it, and that’s the best that we can hope for.”

Wisconsin isn’t necessarily known for Southern cuisine, but Sista’s Chicken & Fish — offering dishes like catfish sandwiches and Caribbean jerk chicken — is here to change that.

Carter owns and operates the Sista’s food truck with his wife, Nisa, and they both are extremely proud to have rolled with the punches these past few months.

fried catfish and chicken with fries in a to-go box

Photo by Romulo Ueda

“In the beginning it was a bit chaotic,” Carter says. “We had to kind of scramble to put things together, as the demand for COVID-friendly eateries was strong [and] being a brand-new business … we didn’t know what to expect.”

Sista’s opened on June 5. Carter explains that the pre-planned Sista’s timeline took a quantum leap forward due to new restrictions in place and considerations to be made. “We just had to ride that wave and adjust accordingly,” he says.

Sista’s aims to bring everyone — regardless of race, age, economic status and gender — together through good food, a light atmosphere and, most importantly, community.

“Diversity is important in any culture, and the best way to learn someone’s culture is to have a meal prepared the way they like to prepare it,” Carter says. “And we hope that people will continue to give us a chance and be happy with what we have to offer: good food and Southern hospitality.”

To find a list of Black-owned food businesses in Madison, click here.

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