Mompreneur no 6: Sara-Kristina Hannig Nour
Founder of Sara’s Organic Food and Sara and Lara’s Baskets.
Sara started ‘Sara’s Organic Food’ and ‘Lara’s Premium Produce”, to grow and deliver organic certified and premium food in Egypt. Its aim is to give people access to clean food and to raise awareness about the importance of clean food and responsible agriculture. Sara started thinking about growing organic food in Egypt after she married her husband and moved to Cairo from Switzerland. Having been a vegetarian all her life, fruits and vegetables are very important to her. “We get to enjoy some of the best produce in Egypt, however, up until recently, knowing their source and how things were grown (according to regulations or not, organically or not) was almost impossible. Latest by the time I became pregnant with my first daughter Lara, I knew I needed to make sure that we have access to genuine, chemical and pesticide free food. After initial trials, it became clear that I was not the only one with this need, but that it was necessary to make more clean food available for Egyptians. Having access to clean food is a basic right”, explained Sara.
What are the qualities that you believe helped you succeed and what were the main challenges that you faced?
Conviction. For me there was no other way to grow food or provide it for my family, than the organic way. It had to been done transparently and we needed to make honest food available. In order to make it a sustainable way to feed my family, it had to become a successful business that benefits thousands of people, including farmers and now farms that we work in partnership with. One of the main challenges at first was establishing trust – educated consumers did not trust any organic brands, and believed that it was impossible to grow clean food in Egypt.
How do you balance between your responsibilities as a mother and as an entrepreneur?
Again it’s conviction and also determination. I have no other choice than to make both work, because they are (almost) equally important. Often times it’s tough, but when you truly believe in a cause then it works out.
We consider you an advocate of healthy eating since your farm represents a facelift to organic food production in Egypt, how is your concern with well-being reflected on your parenting?
I believe it’s important for kids to know where their food comes from, and to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that are free from pesticides. If produce is not organic or pesticide free, it’s best to avoid certain fruits and vegetables (check out the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen) until they are in season again. Kids should eat whole foods and be involved in food prep as much as possible, avoid processed foods that is sold in packages and look far for anything that is fresh and came from a farm. I also believe in leading by example and having fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables in your home is the best thing you can do.
Is there anything that you learnt from your work that helped you become a better mother?
Patience. Crops take time to grow, and so do kids. What you invest in care and love now will bear fruits in the future.