The Jerusalem Post
Ready Meals Directly to the Farmers in the Fields
“I set up ‘HaNahala’, a boutique catering company, in Moshav Yated about five years ago. It was initially focused on home deliveries, then later expanded into events and festivities. Our charm is that we offer customized menus for events up to 200-250 people. There is a dairy kitchen and a meat kitchen, and the menu is individually customized to each client, based on their preferences. Before COVID-19, we had at least three or four different events a week, with my hands involved in all of them. During the first month of the first lockdown I was worried, because a diary full of future events had been reduced to zero activity at a stroke and it was unclear which way the winds were blowing. At the same time, I held on to my small and experienced team throughout it all.
“As soon as I understood that my way of making a living was going to change irrevocably, I decided to change tack: regular lunches for the farmers in the area, who were missing out because the restaurants were closed too. They would either come to me to collect the food and distribute it to the workers during the harvest season, or we would bring it directly to them. At the same time, I started another small brand, ‘Nachobesh’, which means ‘my soul’ in Moroccan. Through this, I provided home cooked meals in branded packaging which could be frozen, for people who were sitting at home during the lockdowns and didn’t have the energy to cook for themselves—moussaka, stuffed bell peppers, fishcakes and other dishes from our menu, as well as other dishes that I added where necessary. Between them, these two initiatives helped me to keep my head above water. “Since the end of the third lockdown, when I understood that catering alone was not enough—even though it remains my calling and my joy—I have started preparing breakfast and lunch meals for institutions and vital organizations in the area that continued to operate throughout the lockdowns and Operation Guardian of the Walls. That is in addition to the social events that we continued to put on, including aliya la’Torah, birthdays and bris. This period has taught me that creativity and faith in my products will always enable me to succeed. Recently the diary has begun to fill up again, and we have already held an event for 250 people. It was a great joy to be able to indulge so many people after more than a year.”
The writer is the owner of ‘HaNahala – Catering with a Personal Touch’.
Moshav Yated, Eshkol Regional Council. Tel: 053-7518696