Jars & Co are, perhaps unsurprisingly, known for delivering fantastic healthy options inside glass jars. Here we talk to Abir Chammah, the managing partner behind Jars & Co the exciting new healthy-eating addition to Lebanon’s crowded F&B industry.
Tell us about yourself and know-how?
I am an entrepreneur and I started my career designing clothes, producing them and selling them. I managed a company of 10 employees. In 2012, I closed my business of 20 years to pursue my passion and studied hospitality management. I studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition New York, where I was trained as a Health Coach and I received my Professional Training and Certification Program. I left Lebanon to join my husband who was working in Luanda, Angola at that time. In Luanda, I started a private health coaching business. I supported busy professionals who wanted to incorporate fitness and nutrition to reach their health goals. In 2015, I returned to Lebanon and am continuing my health coaching. Elias Fayad, my partner is a senior executive, he lived and worked in KSA, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, the UAE and Angola and his responsibilities covered Africa, Middle East, India, and Turkey. He joined me in starting the business, he was attracted by the idea of providing healthy tasty food with eco-friendly packaging.
What’s the concept of Jars & Co, what triggered the idea?
As I said, I am a health coach, and found during the last two years of coaching people in Lebanon how to change their eating habits that most of my clients had similar concerns. They were frustrated by the lack of affordable healthy food options in Beirut or had no time to cook due to their busy schedule. I saw a need for a kitchen that can provide clean eating options which weren’t highly processed, yet made from quality ingredients and had no hidden sugar, nor preservatives nor chemicals. Hence Jars & Co new vision was created: Farm-To-Jar.
What does healthy eating mean at Jars & Co?
Healthy eating is not a diet to lose weight, but involves going by to the habits that our grandparents had. It is amazing how in the last few decades we moved from eating fresh produce or cooking daily meals without using any processed ingredients or white sugar. Our meals should be balanced and wholesome. This why Jars & Co buys fresh vegetables from farmers and uses black rice. Healthy food should not be tasteless, it should taste good.
The term from ‘Farm to Jar’, what does it mean?
The slogan Farm to Jar is inspired from the global movement Farm to Table, or Farm to Fork. It is encouraging people to cook using fresh ingredients grown or produced not far from where they are eaten. We serve our salads in eco-friendly, re-purposed glass jars and so we are using the phrase Farm to Jar.
Talk about the ‘first’ to introduce biodegradable plates in Lebanon?
We are the first delivery service in Lebanon to use all eco-friendly packaging and the first to use edible biodegradable plates. Though the salad served in Glass Jars look good, some of our clients complained that they cannot reach to the bottom of the jar with their forks. Naturally, we could have provided a cheap plastic plate. We rejected the idea until we found eataplateLB, and they provide us with edible plates and biodegradable utensils.
How would you say your brand stands out among the competition in the market today?
We are happy to have a 4.3 rating on Zomato, reflecting the consumer’s opinion about our food. The consumer defines the perception of the brand these days and not vice versa. Mostly, they say that our food is tasty and affordable.
Do we get to keep the jars?
You can keep the glass jars, maybe you can re-purpose them into storage containers or decorative items, or you can give them away to a recycling NGO. With corporate clients, we are running a promotion where they can return 10 jars to get a free meal.