During this time (and always!) it is so important to support local and small businesses in our communities. Plus it’s great for the economy too! We are constantly inspired by the ambition and resilience of small business founders and feel that the risks that they take lead to innovation and help in moving the world forward.
Inspired by these entrepreneurs and their stories, we recently chatted with Ahmed Mobasher, Aya Assaf, Omnia Abdelhalim – owners of Koala Picks, about being entrepreneurs, running a small business while also running a family, and how they have adapted to the changes that Covid-19 had brought to their business.
What is your business about and why did you start it?
Koala Picks is all about promoting and encouraging healthy eating habits for kids and families. We make nutritious and delicious innovative snacks that are perfect for kids and parents to enjoy.
Together we started our business because we’ve been constantly trying to find healthy, fun snacks for our kids that are truly nutritious, and without any weird ingredients. We’ve realized that it’s a common struggle across a lot of parents we know! So we decided to do it ourselves. With the help of our amazing chefs, and our super talented nutritionist, we started to come up with our own recipes and healthy alternatives to what kids love. Some favorites are our: Beet Brownies, Rainbow Breadsticks, Hazelnut Cannon Balls, Cranberry Oat Cookies, Strawberry Rolls…
We also love playing active role in our community. For example, we hold fun and exciting workshops at our facility where families can make their own healthy snacks. We also try to raise awareness about healthy eating through our social media channels.
What do you love about your business?
Honestly, we love the amazing support and feedback we get from families, especially in a time like now. We love hearing how parents are thankful and excited that their kids are finally starting to eat new foods and try new snacks (with hidden fruits and veggies). Parents send us pictures and videos of their kids enjoying our snacks. It makes us so happy to see it all come back to the main purpose and inspiration for starting Koala Picks!
How do you manage your time between running a business and a family?
The hardest thing is finding that balance. It takes time, but we do our best to split up our time between taking care of the kids, and running a business. Some days are tough, especially when we have a really early start, and only come back home about an hour before bedtime – those are the days that the mom guilt hits hard!
We like to believe that it’s not the quantity of time you spend with your kids, but the quality that matters. So once we’re home after a long day, we make sure to leave our phones and work behind. We want the evening time to be quality time, and then back to work after they’re off to bed!
We keep reminding ourselves that what we are busy working on is for their future and well being, and we know that one day they will understand that too!
How has Covid-19 affected your business and how have you adapted?
We truly believe that all hard times come with a nice silver lining. COVID-19 has definitely impacted our start-up which has only been in business for about 6 months when the impact of the pandemic really started to hit the economy, specifically the F&B industry. We faced a difficult time, but we knew we had to pivot immediately.
We launched single box orders (as opposed to subscriptions), focused on gifting, and created fun themed snack boxes for Easter and Ramadan.
Any piece of advice to other small businesses owners or anyone wanting to start their own business?
Starting a business is exciting and fun, but requires a lot of hard work, patience, endurance and perseverance. Make sure you get along with your partners and team. You will be spending the most time with them! You will experience the highs and lows the company will go through, together.
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