Mariam Hourani is the brains behind Rawkure, a healthy vegan, gluten free brand started in the UAE. She is a mother of three who started the company following a family member's medical condition diagnosis. She realised there was a gap in the market for healthy treats, specific for those with dietary requirements.
She has taken this company from a small start up in her own house to a company that has now launched a full menu including meal plans, and most recently started tapping into the healthcare and education sector. We caught up with Mariam to learn all about this amazing venture she has created.
Tell us about yourself in 50 words:
I am an extremist that puts her heart and soul into everything I am passionate about.
How do you think people would describe you in three words:
Extremist, Compassionate, Creative
What would a lot of people not know about you?
Not many people know that I can be temperamental and sensitive. I am a very independent individual who runs a business in a very tough industry and one that I am extremely dedicated to, so it's very easy to feel down on some days. I was also a very very keen gymnast as a youngster
Rawkure – where did the idea come from?
It all started from the simple need of finding healthy food for a family member of mine who was diagnosed with a health condition that at the time not a lot of people or medical professionals knew how to treat. So Rawkure was born out of a passion to help and provide people with healthy and anti inflammatory meal options as well as desserts. I first operated as a licensed kitchen out of my own home and then within the space of two years moved to a central kitchen catering to the entire UAE.
In your opinion, how do you think food can heal you?
Food really is the fuel of the body. What you put in your body could either be feeding a disease or curing one. Food has a direct impact on your health and how you feel. In terms of healing, the right lifestyle diet can have massive benefits to you. For example, I have customers who are not allowed sugar or gluten, so our desserts and meal plans have been hugely popular as a way of life for them.
I receive amazing feedback from customers telling me how their gut has improved, their inflammation has reduced and their overall mental health has vastly changed - it really means the world to me.
How do you manage your work/life balance as a mum of three and business owner?
I have made it a point to include my three boys in a lot of my work. Whether it's tasting the food to see their reaction and give feedback or to the eldest even answering the phone sometimes and greeting my customers. It's something I want them to understand so they don’t feel abandoned when mum has to go out to meetings or to a photoshoot.
With that in mind I always make it a point to spend time with them everyday whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner. We will always sit down and eat together and talk, It's important to involve them in as much as possible. That way when I take a day off and just do what I want to do, they completely understand and know that today mum is going out to see some friends for a bit.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own business?
We are lucky today to be open to so many points of contact to get information. Research as much as possible and talk to people in the industry, be a sponge and soak everything up. I wish I was able to do that at the start but I learnt the hard way but I will be forever grateful for it. I always get people asking me advice on starting a home business and happy to share any tips that I can give.
When you get time to yourself (if you do!) what do you like to do for your own peace of mind?
If it's time for me then I like to be surrounded by family or friends, it makes me happy. I also make an effort to get some form of exercise into my schedule as I feel its super important. Whether it’s a spinning class or taking a walk around the neighbourhood, it just feels good to get moving.
What has the last 18 months taught you?
Health is key! Seriously in the last 18 months the entire world has had a massive wake up call to appreciate things we might have taken for granted previously. Moments spent with family and friends, freedom to go out for a walk or exercise, eating healthy and having a positive mind-set. In terms of my business, it really highlighted the fact that I have very loyal customers and I appreciate every one of them and happy they trust me in providing a different option for themselves and their families.
Final – what does the future hold for Mariam Hourani?
Ask me tomorrow and I am sure I will have a different answer! I am constantly looking at new ventures and when the time is right I will be announcing a few new concepts. But for now Rawkure is expanding and we have just been accredited by the health authority and will start supplying our food to hospitals across the UAE which was a goal from day one. We are also getting into the education sector which I hope is accepted by the younger generation and helps educate them on the benefits of good food.
Rawkure is available on deliveroo and orders can also be placed directly on their website or instagram too.
@rawkure – Instagram
Rawkure – Facebook