Start-up of the Week: MagiCup aims to become a global online store

Updated 19 September 2018

Start-up of the Week: MagiCup aims to become a global online store

People usually start their days with a cup of coffee or tea — and they would certainly enjoy their hot beverage more from a creatively designed cup.
MagiCup is a mug-designing Instagram store. It offers cups with various designs, colors and sizes, magic cups that change color with heat, and travel mugs.
It was established in May 2018. Customers can customize their own cups with their desired designs.
The co-owner of the store, Futoon Saif, explained the inspiration behind creating the store from her background in interior design.
“When I was a student in the interior design field, I realized how good designs have an affect on our lives; they affect everything around us, even the small products we use daily like mugs.
“Me and my partner Majed started MagiCup because we know how lovely it is for people to start their morning with their favorite cup that is designed.”
She said that mugs will always sell no matter what. “We choose to design cups because these are the things that are never going to be replaced by technology, and people for sure won’t stop using cups, so we want to keep on making wonderful designs for people to start their days with.”
Designing mugs is quite a process.
“In the beginning, we start by deciding which kind of mug we are going to use, the normal sized or small sized one, or the travel mug. After that, we start making the design that is going to be printed on the mug, and when we finish the design we create a mock-up for it to make sure it’s going to look good. The last step is that we print the design on a custom paper and print it on the mug itself.”
MagiCup wants to expand its reach and become a global online store.
“We will not open a physical store, but our store is going to be an online store that will serve you much better than a physical one. It is also an advantage that we make our store come to you rather than you come to it.”
She explained the connection the designs on the cups have with their owners. “I learned that designing is storytelling and I just want to make our clients day happy by designing their stories on their lovely cups.”
Saif said that MagiCup strives to achieve customer satisfaction.
“We take our customer’s idea and add our own twist to it. Even if it was a ready-made picture or design, we adjust it, consult and follow up with the customer,” she said.


Lebanese restaurant attracts star support following Beirut blasts

Updated 15 August 2020

Lebanese restaurant attracts star support following Beirut blasts

  • Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe donated $5,000 to the fund, set up by a group of Beirut-based foreign correspondents
  • Operating on a plat-du-jour formula, each day of the week would serve a homemade Lebanese specialty

LONDON: Lebanese restaurant Le Chef found an unlikely high-profile supporter after a GoFundMe page was set up to save the diner from ruin following the Beirut blasts on August 4.

Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe donated $5,000 to the fund, set up by a group of Beirut-based foreign correspondents.

When Richard Hall, one of the organizers and the former-Beirut correspondent of UK daily The Independent, highlighted the generous donation, Crowe tweeted: “On behalf of Anthony Bourdain. I thought that he would have probably done so if he was still around. I wish you and LeChef the best and hope things can be put back together soon.” Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain took his life two years ago.

Tucked away in the middle of the Gemmayze district, Le Chef – commonly seen as one of Beirut’s must-try hole-in-the-wall diners for tourists – was badly damaged in the recent blast.

The tiny diner with its neon-red logo and checkered tables was second home to many of the street’s residents and the country’s foreign correspondents. It featured in Bourdain’s report from Beirut during his travel show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in 2006.

BACKGROUND

The tiny diner with its neon-red logo and checkered tables was second home to many of the street’s residents and the country’s foreign correspondents.

“And yet I'd already fallen in love with Beirut. We all had — everyone on my crew. As soon as we'd landed, headed into town, there was a reaction I can only describe as pheromonic: The place just smelled good. Like a place we were going to love,” Bourdain’s field notes during his time on CNN's Parts Unknown said.

Operating on a plat-du-jour formula, each day of the week would serve a homemade Lebanese specialty – with Thursday’s mloukhiyye and rice a favorite among many journalists, according to Arab News’ correspondent Leila Hatoum.

“When I worked as a reporter based in Gemmayze between 2002 and 2006, Le Chef was the restaurant that provided home-cooked style meals at such affordable prices and in generous quantities…each dish literally could feed two persons,” Hatoum said.

“It was the meeting point for every reporter in the area, be it foreign or local. I would say Le Chef was the ‘it’ place for affordable but great home-cooked food.”

Other dishes include rice and lamb (kharouf mehshi) on Mondays, spiced Lebanese couscous with chicken (moughrabiyye) on Tuesdays, kibbeh bil sayniyye on Wednesdays, rice and fish (sayyidiye) on Fridays and roast lamb with potatoes on Saturdays.

“Le Chef was different, everything they served was as though my mom cooked it,” Netherlands-based designer Rawad Baaklini told Arab News.

“And it was so cheap! Their dishes were big compared to the price they charged. They used to deliver, so for me ordering from them was like eating at home,” Baaklini said, recalling his time working at a studio based in the area.

“My favorite dish was the kibbeh bel sayniyye … It was magical, I don’t know how they made it, but it was every time great.”