Sara Mahjoub – From Selling in School to owning the Biggest Café in the Kingdom

A Saudi baker became the owner of one of the biggest women only cafes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Baker had started off her career initially as a school project. The baker, Sara Mahjoub stated that she used to previously sell cookies and cakes in school and also in some of the summer festivals. This was back when she was just a teenager. Sara Mahjoub has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies and Marketing. What she learned at school helped her get a huge head start in starting her very own business.[irp]

She also worked in her field for around 2 years. However, she had always had a dream to open up her very own café where she could sell food prepared by her. She added that after she heard about a workshop based on how to start your own business, she took the opportunity and attended it. The workshop had been evaluating several business ideas in order to give them funding. Luckily, the workshop had been looking specifically for business ideas for women. This was the main purpose why Mahjoub decided to keep her café a women’s café. Her business idea was accepted and subsequently received the funding too. Mahjoub is a pioneer in the field as there were literally no cafes for women when she began her business in this specific field.

Mahjoub stated that she initially faced several obstacles which made her seriously doubt the idea of her own business. However, with the support of friends and family, she pushed through the obstacles and eventually overcame them. Several people approached her to gain employment at her café however she refused. However, she met Lamees Al Mazrou in the process. She added that Al Mazrou is a specialist in menu design and provided great help in putting together the café.

Mahjoub stated that while she was working with Lamees, she got the boost required to turn the dream of a café into a reality. She added that Lamees is the food expert in the café and she handles everything in the business end. Al Mazrou stated that her recipes are like her own babies. She loves cooking and creating new recipes. She had always had a dream of opening up her own café to serve her unique recipes. She added that working with Mahjoub made her turn her dream into reality. She states that their partnership is based on a mutual respect for their individual opinions and there is no imposition whatsoever in the workplace.[irp]

She added that she is always on the lookout for the healthiest ingredients and recipes. She uses sea water salt instead of the artificial salt and butter instead of the vegetable oil. The healthy ingredients are her main priority even though the recipe will cost more financially, it will have fewer calories and other harmful stuff. Both Sara and Lamees state that they collectively agreed on making their café like a second home to all the customers who walk in. They also agreed upon not serving sheesha or hookah as some of the customers might be bothered by it.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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