Food & Drink

This New Women-Owned Health Food Brand Will Spice Up Your Home Kitchen

This New Women-Owned Health Food Brand Will Spice Up Your Home Kitchen

Through her popular food and lifestyle blog, Alison Wu has been spicing up the wellness space for years. Now she’s taking a more literal approach with the launch of Ami Ami. It’s a line of spice toppings inspired by a traditional Egyptian seasoning known as dukkah. Throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East this style of ground nuts, herbs, and botanicals has been a staple condiment for centuries.

Wu’s offerings riff on those familiar flavors while also incorporating a host of unconventional add-ons including sumac, fennel, rose, pepitas and pistachios. Her aim was to develop a versatile product that could enliven just about any dish. It comes at a price—4 oz. jars are retailing at $14 per unit. If the nascent brand can follow the momentum of her already established career, you can expect to see a lot more Ami Ami in the months to come.

But just how and why did a successful blogger start slinging premium spices, anyhow? To learn more Forbes sat down with Wu for an exclusive interview.

How did you get into the condiment game?

My background is in journalism and digital media, but my passion has always been food. I started my brand Wu Haus about 6 years ago as a creative outlet while I was working as a commercial photo stylist for an advertising agency. I started developing recipes and sharing them via my blog and Instagram. Now Wu Haus is a lifestyle brand that incorporates style, wellness, travel and food. I created these toppings—that are now Ami Ami—over the years, and I loved them so much that I wanted to share them with people.

What was the development process like?

My dear friend turned business partner, Laura, and I started concepting Ami Ami a couple years ago and finally launched the brand into the world in March.

Tell us about the three varieties you launched with, and how you would recommend using each?

Spicy is made from hazelnut, pepita, coriander, sesame, nigella, cumin, urfa and maras peppers. Savory uses pine nuts, sunflower seed, fennel, thyme, sumac and lemon peel. Floral consists of pistachio, rose, walnut, sesame, coconut and cardamom.

We recommend using the Spicy and Savory on salads, soups, toasts, dips, roasted veggies and pasta, and the Floral on smoothies, yogurt, fruit, toasts, salads, dips, pancakes and baked goods.

Where is Ami Ami available for purchase? 

We sell Ami Ami directly through amiamifoods.com. But we’re currently in the process of building our wholesale program. Right now, you can find Ami Ami at Ocafe and Ostudio in NYC, Communal Coffee in San Diego, Mantel in Portland, OR, and The Works in Seattle.

What sets Ami Ami apart from other spice and nut blends on the market?

We think of Ami Ami as a topping for your favorite dishes, so it’s kind of like a savory granola without any added oils or sweeteners. It works best when sprinkled on dishes right before serving. It’s more coarsely chopped than most spice blends, so it adds crunch and texture to every bite.

Tell us more about the charitable component of your startup.

As women business owners, it’s important to us that we support young girls and women on their own paths to success. That’s why we donate a portion of sales to Heya Masr: a social enterprise initiative in Egypt with a mission of empowering young women by providing a safe environment for physical activity, a nutritional and healthy lifestyle program, character development activities, and sexual-harassment awareness and self-defense training.

How do you intend to roll out the brand in the months to come?

We want to offer bulk bags, so consumers can refill their jars at home. We’re also working on a couple more flavors—one nut-free! Longer term, we want to be in grocery stores all over the country and expand our product line to include sauces, dips, dressings and more.


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