The company was founded back in 1970, but only entered the consumer market in December.
Sourcing their materials from all over Egypt, El Shobaki is the 50-year-old brand making everything from sun-dried lemon to tea blends for period pains. What used to be a company only operating B2B (business to business) has entered the consumer market back in December.
After only supplying industry partners for half a century, owner Sherif El Shobaki was motivated by what he described as a shift in the market. “Consumers in Egypt haven’t been health conscious or interested in buying local for very long," El Shobaki told CairoScene. "So for us it wasn’t an option to sell our products directly to individuals up until recently.”
The company’s journey started when El Shobaki’s father returned to Egypt after his studies in Austria and wanted to help reinvigorate the local industry. With the country’s resources, he saw that Egypt was well positioned in the market of spices, herbs, seeds, and oils and could successfully export their natural goods all over the globe.
“It’s labour-intensive business so it creates a lot of employment opportunities, and is more environmentally friendly than harvesting rice, for example," El Shobaki continued. "This industry is tremendously useful for the country." Sourcing their products from governorates all over the nation - including Fayoum, Beni Suef and Aswan - the company was the first to introduce dried molokheya to Japan, which has become popular enough for the Japanese to regularly import tonnes of the product annually.
“As a company we’re extremely quality-driven, we make our products with love and care," El Shobaki said. "We want to supply a clean, high-quality product to Egyptians and help our country.” With new products set for release, they hope to be able to stock supermarkets’ shelves soon and introduce a new appreciation for the natural gems we grow right here on our soil.