This week, we were excited to appear on The Wellness Hub podcast with host Drew Munro. Drew is the CEO of UpMeals, a local Vancouver company whose goal it is to provide better access to more fresh, sustainable foods in the workplace.
In their own words, UpMeals’ goal is to “provide custom wellness solutions that meet people’s busy schedules and makes keeping a healthy lifestyle sustainable, cost effective, and convenient.” They partner with reputable organizations (including us!) to provide branded, prepared-meal solutions for their employees and customers.
Our Founder, Nihal Elwan, spoke to Drew about how the idea of food as a social enterprise turned into the exciting, growing venture that is now known as Tayybeh! Here is what she said.
How it All Began
“[Tayybeh] was totally accidental - I never had any experience in business - I’m an anthropologist. When I arrived in Vancouver in 2014 I was still working on international development - I was a consultant working on various gender-related issues - and then I remember in 2015, everyone was watching the news and the Syrian crisis was unfolding. We started getting news of hundreds and hundreds of families arriving to the shores of BC, and at the time I felt like I wanted to do something to volunteer, as an Arabic speaker.
“I volunteered briefly with an organization here in Vancouver that was providing information sessions to the families who were arriving. So I went and met up with a lot of families and a lot of women who had just arrived, who hadn’t yet been assigned housing, and their kids weren’t in school.
“I had all these conversations and I think that brought me much closer to the experience of these people. So I started thinking, what can I do to help these women, and at the time I wasn't thinking about a business or anything.”After hosting some pop-up dinners, theTayybeh Facebook channel began to receive an influx of interest from people who had attended. This was when the business really started to become more of a reality.
“When we started getting messages from people saying: ‘Hey, I want to order this food.’ We realized there was a demand for it, and so that was the point when we decided Tayybeh should be launched as a full-service catering company.”
Where we are Today
Five years and one pandemic later, Tayybeh is still going strong with ourcatering services, deliciousfresh andfrozen meal offeringsand line ofpackaged products - including our popularMhammaraandMutabbal dips and Tayybeh’sHomestyle Pita Chips.Order online now to enjoy some of the most delicious gluten-free food in Vancouver!
Alternatively, find us on Uber Eats in Vancouver, or visit the fresh meals and frozen meals sections of our website to find out how you can receive Middle Eastern cuisine. Our dishes include options for low carb, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan food in Vancouver, and are delivered straight to your door with our meal delivery options.