July 5, 2017Halal Gems Team

Zaytoun is a social enterprise and Community Interest Company importing and selling Palestinian artisan food products. Their range is a celebration of the exceptional quality produced in Palestine, and a means of sustainable livelihood for the growers. Read our interview with Heather Masoud, Director of Zaytoun, below.
Describe your relationship with food in three words.
Great for sharing.
If you weren’t a business owner what would you be doing? Tell us about your journey.
Perhaps I would be unemployed as austerity cuts have removed.
What would be your last supper or your last meal on earth be if you could choose?
It would have to include chillies – so either Gazan or Vietnamese food.
Who would you love to cook for (past or present)?
Jeremy Corbyn, a thank you meal for bringing some hope back into politics.
What is your foodie guilty pleasure?
Sourdough toast with lots of butter.
What’s been the hardest thing so far?
Movement of goods under military occupation, so for example we can only stock pallets to a certain height to ensure that the Israeli military dogs can jump up and down when they check the cargo. Shipments from Israel are not subject to the same treatment. We have not been able to import anything from Gaza since 2006 due to the blockade.
What’s been the highlight so far?
Seeing produce labelled ‘from Palestine’ on the shelves in shops.  We’re stocked on volunteer stands in the isles of Scotland to the shelves of Selfridges.  It still gives me a buzz when I see it. 
What advice would you give to people who are thinking of starting their own street food business?
Do it.  We started off working on our laptops on our beds at home and now 14 years later we’re a thriving business with suppliers and customers that inspire us.
Follow Zaytoun on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Find Zaytoun at Street Eats on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th July 2017. Register for your free ticket here.

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