MAKKAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Monday 7 October 2013
Last update 8 November 2013 4:15 am
Saudi women with a talent for cooking have entered into the market and are competing with major restaurants in organizing private parties and providing catering services for banquets.
Um Lama, a Saudi housewife, said she took up catering for private parties after gaining extensive experience in cooking. Um Lama hired a restaurateur to distribute her dishes.
“I entered into this business two years ago,” she said. “At first, I used to make simple dishes like stuffed vine leaves and cabbage leaves.
Family and friends encouraged me to turn it into a business. At the beginning, I rejected the idea, but the idea eventually grew on me and I began with smaller dishes and orders.”
“As time passed, demand increased and I eventually began catering for open buffets at weddings and parties at competitive prices. My business flourished thanks to the support of my family,” she added.
“Catering costs between SR500 and SR2,000 a meter. I make many dishes, including macaroni with white sauce, stuffed vegetables, chicken and meat kebabs, fish, appetizers and sweets. I also provide plates, cutlery and paper napkins,” she said.
Um Lama said she caters for seven open buffets every month. Her biggest catering project was for a wedding, where she whipped up a 12-meter open buffet.
“I now organize bazaars for home products so as to encourage women enter into this field. I hope I can help widows and divorcees work from home, especially since open buffets are becoming more popular,” she said.