Startup of the Week: Captain Brew Coffee redefines ready-to-drink beverages

Updated 05 March 2019

Startup of the Week: Captain Brew Coffee redefines ready-to-drink beverages

Cold brew fans can now enjoy a new brand in the market. Captain Brew Coffee was set up and launched last autumn by Mohammed Sabbagh, a 37-year-old engineer from Saudi Arabia.

“It is intended to redefine the cold brew, ready-to-drink beverages in the region,” Sabbagh told Arab News.

He explained that the concept emerged in Jeddah’s Medd Cafe and Roastery and that the packaging idea also came about that same day, with the help of Medd’s Mohammed Hashani. It was decided after much brainstorming that the packaging should be like beer bottles.

“The labels were created by the designer Shahad Nazer. Her creativity and designs brought the product to life and, with the ideas I provided, she transformed the bottles.”

The range started with two flavors — original and coconut — and received positive feedback.

The support encouraged him to debut the product in Jeddah’s Homegrown Market, just 23 days from when the idea was conceptualized.

“On launch day we sold quite a few bottles and gathered feedback from those who tasted the first two products. Some of the feedback received was that the bottle size was too big and the price was slightly high. As a result we responded by introducing our standardized size of 250ml with optimized pricing.” 

More flavors came along — Roko Berry and Arabicolada — while the latest creation was inspired by a cultural festival. 

“My most recent flavor is Peachula. Its label design drew inspiration from the Al Ula balloon festival that took place during Winter at Tantora. We use fresh organic coffee beans from Medd. The ground specialty coffee is soaked in water for 21 hours at a cool temperature. 

“Our coffee blends are premium and from various regions including Yemen and Ethiopia. The water used is bottled with low sodium, and the flavors are all natural.”

Captain Brew Coffee products can be found in many places in Jeddah such as Sofa Lounge, Arty Cafe, Juice Container and The Sandwich Gallery.

The brand took part in a number of public events including International Coffee Week last November and concerts held at King Abdullah Economic City.

“Captain Brew Coffee is planning to introduce a smaller size bottle that will target the mass market and be focused toward modern trade markets with a longer shelf life and more competitive pricing scheme.”

Keep up with Captain Brew Coffee on Instagram: @captainbrewcoffee

Saudi home-bakers cooking up sweet business on internet

Nada Kutbi started baking from home for family and friends before setting up her Sucre De Nada pastry shop to expand her home business. (Photos/Supplied)
Updated 22 May 2019

Saudi home-bakers cooking up sweet business on internet

  • Thanks to social media, business is booming for Jeddah’s cake and pastry makers

JEDDAH: Enterprising Saudi home-bakers have been turning to social media to help cook up some sweet business success.
The Kingdom’s food producers are proving to be some of the rising stars of the internet, and none more so than 53-year-old mom Nada Kutbi.
Her Sucre De Nada pastry shop in Jeddah has become one of the go-to places for homemade desserts and cakes, and the online side of her business is also booming.
Kutbi’s daughter, Nassiba Khashoggi, told Arab News: “She has basically been baking all her life, especially after having children. She used to make cookies for us and whenever she tried a dessert somewhere else, she would recreate it.
“In restaurants or gatherings, she would always analyze sweets and make them at home for her family. That was how she started baking.
“I don’t think she ever thought she could pursue it as a career, but everyone loved her baking and one of her closest friends encouraged her to start her business when she was a stay-at-home mom.
“It was in 2011-2012, and her friend basically forced her to start by telling her, ‘yallah! make a cake and I will buy it from you now.’”
Khashoggi added: “In the beginning we just went by word of mouth, but when Instagram came along, we made an account and started posting pictures and the customers loved her creativity and uniqueness. I don’t think many people knew what banoffee was before my mom promoted it.”
Although Kutbi’s unique takes and touches went down a treat with customers, it was not until Ramadan last year that she officially opened her bakery in Jeddah.
But stepping up from running a home business presented new challenges. “When you are running a home business there are few staff and it is easy to control,” said Khashoggi. But expanding requires you to put more trust in other people and that was difficult for my mom. Also, when we increased the number of our products it became harder to maintain the quality of goods.”
Kutbi aims to avoid storing, pre-baking or freezing her products and is not a fan of mass production and blast freezing, according to her daughter. “In short, she is against commercial baking,” said Khashoggi. “What is unique about my mom is that everything she makes is made the same day from scratch. It makes it harder for her to redo everything but that’s what makes her special.”


• The Kingdom’s food producers are proving to be some of the rising stars of the internet, none more so than 53-year-old mom Nada Kutbi.

• Kutbi’s unique takes and touches have been a hit with customer, but it was not until Ramadan last year that she officially opened her bakery in Jeddah.

Sometimes customers even send pictures or pieces of dessert to Kutbi asking her to recreate their favorite foods.
Another Jeddah-based bakery thriving on the internet is Ganache. Run by Anas Khashoggi, 58, and Jamila Ali Islam, 48, the pastry business has been operating for almost 20 years.
Khashoggi supported his wife after spotting her talent for baking and took a leap of faith by giving up his job and starting an online bakery.
“At that time, there was no social media, but we made an introductory website, which helped us gain popularity,” he said. That was in 1996, and the couple’s first store opened later the same year.
“Ganache has its own unique spirit as a family business, and it is run by Saudi youth who are managing the bakery and understand the Saudi market. The family committee is the one that approves the products,” added Khashoggi.