Startup of the Week: Soulful - Guilt-free food for the health-conscious

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Updated 25 March 2020

Startup of the Week: Soulful - Guilt-free food for the health-conscious

  • Soulful offers a range of gluten-free and low-carb baked items suitable for different types of diets

Gone are the days when Saudis gave little attention to health and diet.
They are now far more aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, partly evidenced by the growing number of gyms in the Kingdom.
Also on the rise are businesses offering healthy diet options and meal plans with young Saudi entrepreneurs taking full advantage of the internet and mobile apps to run their own online ventures.
Soulful is one such example. The online bakery, cofounded by Saudis Abdulilah Al-Nagadi, Intissar Bakr, Yasser Al-Eitani, and Enas Hashani, offers low-carb, gluten-free, ketogenic and paleo products.
Bakr switched to a ketogenic diet after learning about its benefits and began making low-carb desserts and bread for her family and friends, who encouraged her to launch the enterprise.
Entrepreneur Al-Eitani was introduced to the bakery around a year ago through Al-Nagadi and, impressed with the quality and taste of the products, suggested
turning it from a home-based setup into a full-fledged operation. “We officially launched Soulful in September 2019, but the idea began in January of that year,” Al-Eitani said.
Soulful offers a range of gluten-free and low-carb baked items suitable for different types of diets. “We are still growing and adding more items to our menu to accommodate everybody’s needs with a focus on the health benefits,” he said.
What makes Soulful stand out from other bakeries is the nutritional value of its products. “Some unconventional ingredients provide the necessary nutrients that are usually missed out while dieting,” added Al-Eitani.
“So, if you or your kids have a sweet tooth and are worried about sugar consumption, you do not have to think twice. You can grab a brownie, a cheesecake or any of our desserts without the guilt of eating the typical sugar-filled products.”
Soulful also has options for those who have health conditions with restrictive diets, such as certain types of diabetes or celiac disease.
“Of course, we recommend consulting your doctor before making major dietary changes,” he said.
However, several certified nutrition experts have given their seal of approval to the products after testing them.
“Instead of the typical flour, sugar, and salt being the main ingredients, our bread is made with almond flour and is fused with prebiotics to support useful bacteria in our guts. They are also filling enough to prevent overeating.”
Soulful uses Instagram and WhatsApp to do its business and some items are available in local bakeries. Plans are in the pipeline to expand outside of its current base in Jeddah. Details on Instagram @soulful.ksa.

Saudi Arabia suspends prison sentences in debt cases

Updated 08 April 2020

Saudi Arabia suspends prison sentences in debt cases

  • As part of efforts to slow spread of coronavirus, King Salman orders temporary release of debtors already in jail
  • Orders granting visitation rights to separated parents also put on hold for duration of COVID-19 crisis

RIYADH: As part of the efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Saudi Arabia has called a temporary halt to prison sentences for individuals convicted in private cases involving unpaid debts.

King Salman on Tuesday ordered that the implementation of final judgments and orders in such cases be suspended. He also ordered the immediate, temporary release of prisoners already serving time for debt-related convictions, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

In addition, the king suspended all orders and judgments granting an estranged parent child-visitation rights.

The orders will remain in force until the authorities announce that the pandemic no longer poses a threat to public health.

Walid Al-Samaani, the justice minister and president of the Supreme Judicial Council, thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the decisions. He said that they are part of the efforts being made by the government to ensure the safety of everyone in the Kingdom, and reflect the fact that public health is the main priority at this time.

The orders were implemented immediately. Legal and prison authorities have been notified and told to take all necessary action. All those affected by the suspension of parental visitation rights were notified by text message.