Mymoune celebrated its 25th anniversary during a picnic lunch at Ain El Kabou. New products and labeling were unveiled to the guests, who enjoyed a delicious menu, enhanced by the personal touch of the great chef Greg Malouf.
Youmna Ghorayeb, who founded Mymoune with her sister Layla Maalouf 25 years ago, answered some questions:
Mymoune began as a small business, after 25 years it became a manufacture due to mechanization, how have you experienced this transition?
Mechanization is very partial at Mymoune …Our work is mainly handmade and our traditional recipes are prepared in small uncovered batches, and therefore there are no cookers and no big machines. The sorting of fruits and flowers is also done by hand and filling of the jars most of the time, regarding all fruits in syrup (dates, figs, pumpkins etc…).
However all that relates to the packaging (labeling, crating, closing of jars and bottles etc) is now mechanized.
To cope with the increased production, we employ more labor and what helps us also is the seasonality of our production, because we have to follow the cycle of Lebanese generous nature, during the strawberry season, this fruit monopolizes all of our energy and this also applies to apricots, blackberries, figs, etc.
Mymoune products appeal to Europeans as they are reviving recipes of grandmother away from additives and preservatives, what is the turnover you make from Export?
Currently 65% of our turnover comes from exports.
You’re one of those companies that created job opportunities in your village, Ain el Kabou where some girls could never move to Beirut to work, what does this social commitment bring you?
An enormous satisfaction and a sense of duty accomplished. This was our motivation at first! We are all very much attached to our village and our region, and at some point an impressive emptiness had settled. So we made every effort to revive this wonderful corner of the mountain and allowed several families to remain in their homes.
Today you are well established in Lebanon and some countries abroad. What are your plans for the future?
New projects? They never cease.
-In this moment the priority goes to «re-looking» of Mymoune. Our original formula using the kraft paper and jute has been copied and so overused that we have at heart to find a packaging that could distinguish us. How to reconcile our first concept with renewal? it has not been easy. We had to preserve the premium image of traditional hand made products while giving a youthful look and a certain modernity. For this we approached Brandmint services, and we are sure that with their input we have made a good choice.
– Second priority: HACCP implementation: an international label requiring the strictest standards of hygiene and proper operation within the workshops…. this new label will allow access to most demanding foreign markets, although so far we have had no problems about it but it will be a plus for new horizons. We are also about to launch new products that fit perfectly into the tradition of Mymoune.
In culinary art, one can make compositions with different ingredients and constantly innovate. What do you think?
The new products will appeal specifically to the technique of mixing between various and subtle flavors that have their success on the market…. They will be presented in a new range that we have denominated «My Creation». Interviewconducted byRita Saadé