We want to wish our lovely and loyal community a wonderful new year. 2014 was a year of exploration and commitment. We made an intention to commit to our dream of bringing the Arab street food experience to the Bay area through our pop ups, catering, and baking classes. Reem’s was proudly accepted into La Cocina, one of the premier food business incubation programs in the Bay Area. While participating in the program has expanded our opportunities in so many ways, it has also pushed us to slow down and cultivate our business carefully. We appreciate our loyal followers who have been wondering what we have been up to. Rest assured, we have been plotting and planning diligently and learning along the way. We are confident that being in incubation will pay off in big ways. We appreciate your support and patience!
This year, our bakery concept will grow significantly in the womb. In the last six months, we have been working on product development to perfect our flatbreads and to introduce new items to create a versatile menu. We are working with some of the best to help us develop and refine our branding and marketing plan. Stay tuned this year for a fresh new logo, website, and menu. We have set a new intention to push forward, take more risks, and forge our own opportunities for our community to experience Reem’s. We are exploring partnerships, pop ups, and mobile operations to bring our mana’eesh to a street corner near you!
Last year we partnered with the Arab Cultural and Community Center to offer hands-on baking classes from Arab bread baking to traditional Arab holiday sweets. Our classes were multi-cultural and multi-generational filled with participants excited to learn about the history and culture of baking in the Middle East and the art and science of baking. Each class was packed with stories, laughs, facts, tastes, and aromas, getting to the heart of what is important to us– building community and connection through food and culture. We got rave reviews and learned a lot through teaching. Upon popular
demand, you can expect to see more classes this year.
And of course personally, in the spirit of committing, I honored one of the biggest commitments I have ever made. I married my partner and love of my life. He inspires me everyday. Everyday we wake up and get ready for “game day”. He puts on an anthem as if we are jumping into a boxing match and he repeats the mantra “Don’t Stop. Don’t Quit.” He is my biggest fan and support system. After six months of hard work, we finally went on a honeymoon over the holiday break to one of the most notable street food meccas of the world, Thailand. It was spectacular!
The saying goes, “In Bangkok, where there are people there is food. ” And it rang true! Everywhere that there was street food, there was life! The streets felt alive at every hour of the day and night. We found places until the wee hours of the morning. Food brings people together. And it’s not just about the food– although certainly the final products here were some of the best I’ve ever had– but about the experience of the food. People did not mind waiting and watching their pad thai or roti get whipped up with fresh ingredients. And believe me, their food was fast and fresh! I was inspired by so many flavors, ingredients, and techniques that have pushed me to set an intention to become a better baker. There are so many things we can learn across cultures. I am so excited to push myself to refine my skills even further.
A highlight of our trip came when we came across a woman selling mana’eesh in the heart of Bangkok! It was meant to be. A great sign for the coming year, indeed. She was selling her man’ousheh off a traditional Saj, a domed griddle over gas flames (but more traditionally, wood fire). We were not sure how many people in the area knew what the product was. Naturally we ordered one for the experience and immediately as she started to prepare it, several tourists came around the griddle and started snapping their cameras away. It was an experience indeed.
We are ready to go for it in 2015, recommitting to our purpose and setting new intentions along the way. The signs are there. Time to forge our path. Many thanks to all of you who are on the journey with us!