One of my favourite trends that you can’t help but notice around Qatar at the moment, is the proliferation of home-based businesses, and particularly those relating to homemade food services. Talented and entrepreneurial locals and expats alike have been donning their chefs hats in their droves and taking to their own kitchens to cook up a storm for us all to enjoy.
The quality and diversity of what’s on offer is, quite frankly, staggering and I’ve been blown away by the results that this ambitious and enterprising group of individuals have brought about so rapidly. At a time when shopping at supermarkets is more expensive than ever and certain food-items are hard to come by, particularly in the artisanal, healthy, vegan and organic categories, these entrepreneurs are single-handedly changing the way we consume food in Qatar.
Here is my pick of some of the most delicious home-based food services around, and all the details you need to know to make an order.
Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the post to find out how you can win a hamper full of the best-selling products from all of the homemade food services featured!
How To Order
How To Order
Superheroes Eat Plants
I’ve been lucky to meet some really inspirational women in my time in Qatar, and Rebekah Gomez, founder of Superheroes Eat Plants, is one of them. In 2016, she became vegan, initially for moral reasons (she loves animals!). Shortly after, she realised there were so many other reasons, from health and the environment, to world hunger and antibiotic resistance, and she set up the Superheroes Eat Plants facebook page as a way to reach out to the global vegan community.
Rebekah told me about her inspiration behind the brand in a recent email.
“I guess I thought I might be the next Deliciously Ella (I’m now cringing as I write this…). In May 2017 I ran a five-day online vegan challenge with 50 participants in the UK, US and Qatar. For those in Qatar, we ended the week at The Shangri-La with a vegan afternoon tea that I had helped design. It was so successful the hotel decided to keep it on as a permanent feature and I became known within the Qatar vegan community as a key person of influence. I then began working with Mega Mart at The Gate and Lulu to enhance their vegan offerings and make it easier to find the foods we need.”
How To Order
How To Order:
Aff’s Healthy Kitchen
What a woman Affshan Sayad is. A mum of not one, not two, but FOUR children, she is busy managing school runs and play dates while turning out nut butters and more from her busy kitchen. Her product line, Aff’s Healthy Kitchen was inspired by motherhood, and her first priority is making healthy food that children can eat. She stumbled upon nut butters, and when she couldn’t find any affordable products that were free from preservatives and chemicals on the market, she decided to experiment and make her own.
With a little encouragement from friends and family, who loved her butters, she launched her products to widespread acclaim, selling individual nut butters as well as larger food hampers as gifts.
One of her most appreciated products is her Indulgent Chocolate Spread, which is loved by mums who want to clear their cupboards of commercial oil and sugar-filled spreads and replace them with something a little more wholesome. With unprocessed cacao, hazlenuts and pure maple syrup, it is just that. It’s also delicious! My favourite product however, is her activated almond butter with pink sea salt. It’s a little sweet, a little savoury, and it’s perfect spread over toast first thing in the morning.
Little-known fact: did you know that activating the nuts means that you will reap the maximum benefits from them without getting any side effects like bloating, gastritis, etc.?
How To Order
Fatma AlMisned AlMohannadi is an English teacher with rather a lot of hobbies. She made the decision to quit teaching in 2017 to concentrate on these, and is currently focussing on her main passion, which is making bread, cakes, cookies and jams. Thus, Marmelo was born.
Fatma hasn’t regretted her new career direction for a second. These days, when she’s not in the kitchen, she can be found down at Torba Farmer’s Market selling her spoils. She’s incredibly approachable and loves the one-on-one interaction that she has with her customers, welcoming everyone who passes by to come and have a taste before they buy and to give their feedback.
It is this feedback and research is the lifeline to her business. Fatma’s very experimental with her ingredients, and she tests out new recipes frequently, trialling the results on her family and getting their reactions. She also spends a lot of time reading about jam-making on the internet. This attention to detail has really paid off, and resulted in some fabulous, and very unique products. In my household, we’re currently loving her Apple Jam (which has a subtle taste of mastic running through it) on bread and toast and her brand new Apple and Jalepeño Jam with cheese and biscuits – it’s incredible! Next time I’m at Torba, I’m going to purchase her Tomato Jam as I’ve had my eye on it for a while and can’t stop thinking about it.
How To Order
Marmelo is present at Torba Farmer’s Market on Saturdays until the end of March.
Rou’s Sweet Corner
When I met Rou’a Wehbi back in 2015 and she told me about her business, Rou’s Sweet Corner, I remember thinking how fitting the name was, because she really is incredibly sweet! Add to this her talent for writing and photography (you can follow her blog here), her entrepreneurial spirit and her prowess in the kitchen and this woman is a formidable force to be reckoned with.
We caught up recently, so that she could tell me about the inspiration behind her successful business, which makes sweet and savoury baked goods.
“What started as a weekend stress relief in college quickly turned to an experimental hobby,” she told me. “I’d spend most of my free time in the kitchen trying out new recipes, from simple classic cookies and brownies to layered and decorated cakes. I’m completely self-taught, I love researching new recipes and usually go through a series of trial and errors to get to a perfect batch. After that, I got curious about traditional bread making and techniques, so I signed up for an intensive workshop at none other than Le Cordon Blue in Paris and got a certificate in Traditional bread making. One of the things I love doing is mixing cultures, thus creating things like Zaatar Brioche buns that mixes French brioche with Lebanese zaatar!”
How To Order
Juicin’ It is a new organic, cold-pressed juice company which launched by partners Noor Al Ansari and Ujvala Vemparala. Noor and Ujvala met over a glass of #28 at Noor’s house, and the idea was almost instantaeneous. Born out of a love for organic products, the company was formed by the enterprising team to create an ethical and healthy juice alternatives to what is currently available in the market.
Juicin’ It products are natural, made freshly every day with no preservatives or added sugar. Everything that takes place in the production of these juices, from the in-house production to the delivery of the glass bottles to the consumer’s doorstep, is geared towards the health and benefit of Juicin’ It’s customers. As well as individual juices, they offer a variety of juices and cleanses which focus on specific health related benefits such as detox or weight loss.
I have tried Number 18, a dark red juice composed of avocado, apple pineapple and mint, which had a delicious fruity tang to it, and Number 65, a green juice with cucumber, spinach, green apple, ginger, parsley, lemon and cayenne pepper. An inspired combination of juices, which are not only packed with vitamins, but delicious on the palate too.
How To Order
There can’t be many people in Qatar that haven’t heard the name Ghanim AlSulaiti by now. This inspiring entrepreneur’s passion for conscious living and personal investment in a holistic approach to diet and health has set him on a journey of discovery all around the globe. He has been a vegan for five years and brought the wealth of knowledge he’d picked up along the way to his home country when he launched Qatar’s first 100% vegan café, Evergreen Organics in September of 2016. Its popularity has sky-rocketed ever since.
Beyond Qatar’s borders, Ghanim also co-founded Vibe Café, Cambodia’s first vegan cafe; The Good Vibe Foundation – a charity which aims to feed 10,000 school children healthy vegan food; is the founder of Botany, a vegan skincare company launched in Doha, and has recently launched the Papercut factory where he manufactures eco-friendly packaging for cafes and shops.
As if he hasn’t enough strings to his impressive bow already, Ghanim has now made it his mission to expand the quantity and quality of locally made, organic, vegan whole-foods in the Qatar market. He is therefore delighted to announce the launch of Evergreen Kitchen which will bring veganisim within easy reaching distance of everyone living in Qatar. They’ll even be stocking shelves across Doha’s supermarkets very soon!
As a pioneer in the vegan food and beverage industry in Qatar, Ghanim loves seeing the positive impact his food can have on people and he is sure that his new range of products will keep influencing how and what we all eat daily.
I’ve had the pleasure of being among the very first to sample Evergreen Kitchen’s Creamy Cashew Cheese and Cashew Butter, and let’s just say, I think you’re going to like them.
How To Order
Products are currently available at Al Meera supermarkets and Flatwhite café.
Hakuna Matata Dog Bakery
So you must all be getting the impression by now, that homemade food services in Qatar are booming. Now that you’re sorted, what about food services that cater for man’s best friend? Enter Hakuna Matata Dog Bakery.