From Lebanon with love. Alamir Bakery – Makers of Authentic Lebanese
The back story behind Alamir Bakery truly captures the imagination. It is a story that began when Jamil and Waafa Dia immigrated to Wellington from war-torn Lebanon in 1990, followed by a series of extraordinary events, leading to a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity.
Two years after arriving in New Zealand, and despite gaining experience in a number of jobs, it was Waafa’s skills in the kitchen that led to the couple launching The Delicious Lebanese Snack Company in 1992. Starting small, they were making small batches of hummus and falafel in a commercial kitchen at the back of their house and supplying local supermarkets, restaurants and cafés.
Today the business is known as Alamir Bakery and it is still very much a family affair. Five family members are all directors and still involved. Ali Dia, who originally trained as a builder, is one of the four owner operators; younger brother Eassa handles online orders and deliveries, while older brother Abrahim works in all aspects of the business alongside another older brother, Hassan. Jamil has now retired from the business however, Waafa is still very much involved and all the recipes are hers.
Alamir Bakery’s point of difference revolves around authentic, raw and natural ingredients. They pride themselves in making Lebanese food the traditional way, using recipes that can be traced back to Biblical times. Only two out of the 25 products they produce contain preservatives.
“Our ingredients are simple: chickpeas, tahini, garlic, salt, and lemon.”
With growth has come added responsibilities. There are now 26 employees and output has increased considerably, “We used to do one batch of hummus a week, and that was only 25kg of chickpeas that would turn into 150kgs of hummus, now we are doing double that on a daily basis.”
Looking ahead, Alamir Bakery’s plan is to work more on brand awareness and promoting their products authenticity. You’ll no doubt be hearing them screaming from the rooftops in no time at all.