Three women, one goal: Tasty, healthy meals in a box

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Updated 02 March 2016
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Three women, one goal: Tasty, healthy meals in a box

To provide convenient and nutritious dining programs for health conscious people, three mothers, Rawan, Sara and Nora run a healthy food business called “The Health Box”. They believe that nutrition is a big part of any good fitness program as without proper nutrition any workout is destined to fail.
Sara had a catering business before she got interested in fitness, while Nora and Rawan enjoyed living a healthy lifestyle. All three of them are certified fitness trainers who not only love eating healthy food, but also care about its taste.

In conversation with Arab News, Rawan shared how she and her team pioneered healthy eating through their entrepreneurial drive.

Tell us how you started The Health Box?
I always loved desserts and had a sweet tooth, but as a fitness trainer I wanted to follow my eating plans and avoid sugary foods. Since, I can’t live without chocolate I decided to experiment in the kitchen to create recipes that are satisfying just like any other brownie. However, my goal was to make healthy desserts that even kids would enjoy and it worked.
Eventually, I started testing it on friends and family who all fell in love with it and our clients from the gym started ordering it. Then after introducing training concepts with Nora called SWEAT Box, she suggested we make healthy post-workout meals such as sandwiches as she was already popular for her homemade healthy sandwiches.
Later Sara’s love for cooking emerged again and that’s when the three of us decided to start The Health Box. We knew the demand was there, and there weren’t any reliable high quality healthy meal plan providers in Jeddah so we saw an opportunity to be the first healthy food suppliers.

And what is The Health Box?
The Health Box is a center for healthy gourmet food service, where we offer a variety of programs that provide meal plan packages tailored according to each person’s dietary needs or fitness goals.

As a founding entrepreneur of a company, how has the experience been for you and what were the challenges?
The experience has been amazing, although we made lots of errors. The most important thing is to learn and not make the same mistakes again. I don’t think there were any unexpected challenges because every day was a challenge. Finding reliable suppliers that can provide us with high quality food and be consistently available was one of the challenges.

Tell us about your menu, any popular dish?
Our menus are diverse that fit any healthy lifestyle our clients are interested in. We offer Paleo, Whole30, vegetarian, vegan and balanced dishes to fit all individual needs. We believe there is no one diet that fits all. We also try to introduce authentic dishes that are close to home like our popular spiced quinoa bukhari prepared in the traditional Saudi way, which people love and enjoy the most.

Where do you buy organic food from?
When we want to buy organic products, we buy from the local organic supplier Organica.

How do you manage to promote healthy eating?
As fitness trainers, we are passionate about eating healthy and it is important to feel properly fueled for training sessions that will make us feel good inside and out. We want everyone to get this great feeling of energy for which we try our best to promote healthy eating with the help of social media. We always give out health tips through our Instagram and Snapchat accounts (@the_healthbox).

Who are your customers?
Our customers are those who understand the value of healthy living and feeling better. They are those who want to lose weight, gain weight in a healthy way or those who just want to maintain their weight but live a healthy life. We cater to all needs through different programs.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business leaders?
1. To be in a business you are truly passionate about because then only you will succeed and work hard to make it work while enjoying it too.
2. If you are going to partner up with somebody, they should be just as passionate and dedicated as you are and share your interesting ideas or else that partnership won’t work.
3. To be unique you have to be competitive and make your ideas exceptional.

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Saudi food app is perfect recipe for people in need

Updated 19 May 2018
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Saudi food app is perfect recipe for people in need

JEDDAH: A Saudi relationship manager has designed a mobile app that allows food to be delivered to people in need, including Syrian refugees living in camps in Lebanon and Turkey.
Western region manager Fahad bin Thabit, 34, described his YummCloud app as a “sharing economy” platform.
After working with app developers from India, Ukraine and the US, Thabit launched the platform in late April with help from the US digital agency Ingic.
YummCloud was featured in US company news, such as Cision PRWeb.
“The idea behind YummCloud was to provide home-cooked meals to the users in the most convenient way,” Cision PRWeb said.
“Developers were told to develop an open platform app that will let users buy, sell or send home-cooked meals around them. All a user has to do is to choose the food they would like to eat and get it delivered at their convenience.”
Thabit said that his brother, who lives in France, was the inadvertent inspiration behind the app.
“At that time I wanted to send him food and that was when I had the idea: Why can’t I send him local food?
“I could not find any of our local food there, and this was how the application came up. I said once I can do that, I can send food to anyone anywhere in the world — all I need to do is provide the supplier,” Thabit told Arab News.
Anyone can help communities in need via the application, he said.
Thabit said he was planning to help Syrian refugees in Turkey.
“We call these meals ‘humanitarian meals’ — all we need to do is reach them via a social network and get a supplier there. People who sympathize with the refugees — they could be 100 kilometers away or in different parts of the world — can pay online and buy meals for them.”
He said whole communities could take part in the “sharing economy.”
“For example, in Africa, there are areas that have people suffering from starvation, but there are other areas that have food supplies, so if you buy the supplies from those areas, they can import them to the starvation-stricken areas. This is what I call a sharing economy.”
The app’s international features are still under development, but are expected to launch in two years.
“We can create a market anywhere in the world. All we need to do is add a language, find a delivery company there, and if there isn’t one, people can deliver it themselves.
“We had 500 orders in the first 10 days of the launch in Saudi Arabia.”
Thabit said that transportation network company Careem was acting as a logistics partner.
“Careem have us covered everywhere — it is operating in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Egypt. Wherever Careem is present, we are there regarding delivery,” he said.
Thabit said he had agreements with delivery companies and charities in different parts of the world for YummCloud’s global transition.
The application is an efficient humanitarian platform.
“We provide a platform for everyone to help everyone,” he said.