For two years Besaha has been bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to New Zealand. The team spoke to Soufiane Et Tijani about the future of the business.

What is your company background, how did you start the business?

“Besaha was established in September 2015, specialising in Moroccan & Mediterranean food. Originally from Morocco, I grew up in a family and culture where food is a source of celebration and enjoyment. I have a background in hospitality so starting Besaha and bringing some authentic cuisine to New Zealand was something I felt really passionate about. The initial product for Besaha was a spice range as they are used so much in Moroccan and Mediterranean cooking, preserved lemons and Ghriba which is a gluten free Moroccan cookie.”

“Our focus is always on authenticity and quality meaning many of our products are more labour intensive to produce but the difference can be tasted in the final product. Our philosophy is to create foods and kitchen provisions that showcase this region’s cuisine.”

What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?

“We currently have a range of spices and sweets on the market. Our spice range includes Ras El Hanout, Chermoula, Moroccan BBQ and Za’atar. All are roasted and ground individually, then blended. The benefit to this is you get the full flavour of the spices intensity and balanced flavours so you don’t have to use as much when cooking.”

“Our sweet range includes Chocolate & Sesame Ghriba. Ghriba are a Moroccan biscuit generally eaten in Morocco on special occasions and not seen in NZ. There are many varieties of Ghriba. Our Ghriba are gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. Made with almond flour, toasted sesame seeds and flaxseed.”

“We are now doing couscous blends in two varieties: Almond, White Raisin & Lemon and Fragrant Herbs & Cranberry. Accompanied with meat or vegetables they are great to have in the pantry when needing a delicious and nutritious dinner. They are both free of additives/preservatives and are made with fresh spices, quality dried fruit and freeze-dried lemon. They are healthy and easy to prepare.”

Has there been any recent company news?

“Our new couscous blends have been popular and are selling well at stores throughout the North Island. We also have our products stocked at Moore Wilson for customers in the Wellington region.”

What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?

“We want to build brand awareness and make Besaha the go-to for kitchen provisions and Mediterranean treats. We are currently testing out some new products to extend our range of treats and kitchen provisions - ready before Christmas. We also want to expand into the South Island and have our spices in gourmet butcheries to complement their products.”

Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability?

“We’ve been building the online side of the business. All our products are currently in-store at Farro Fresh, Moore Wilson and selected gourmet stores in Auckland. Our products are also available online on our website:”