meet our family!
In 1981 our father opened his first restaurant, Chicken Basket - a small shop specializing in fried chicken, the complete opposite of our family's history. Over the next 30 years, he owned and operated several restaurants. Having his own food business meant that he would work from sunup to sundown. Though we rarely got to see him as kids, we learned valuable lessons about hard work, sacrifice, and taking care of your family.
All of us grew up working in those restaurants. Our parents would always stress the importance of education to us so that we could get good jobs and our lives wouldn’t be as tiring and as challenging as theirs. Our father warned us time and time again to stay away from the restaurant industry.
So you can imagine his excitement when in 2016 we all decided to open a farmers market stand...not just any stand, but one selling Middle Eastern Street Food starring Za’atar which is symbolic in the Middle East but largely unknown here. For us, this was a way to connect with our culture which we didn’t truly appreciate until we grew older. We wanted to share the extreme generosity and hospitality that exists in Arab food culture with the local community. Combine this heritage and passion with growing up in food and Z&Z was born.
Before launching Z&Z, we’d always ask our dad why he never sold Arabic food at his restaurants. He would always respond that Americans don't like our food and it wouldn’t sell. So it is extremely special for us to be here today, almost three years later having built our business on a product as symbolic and rich with history as Za’atar.
We’ve come a long way but have even further to go and we’re excited to keep hustling. None of this would have been possible without our parents and the unconditional support from our community.