By Mia Finley
GIST: Hummus made from a 50-year-old family recipe.
WHO: Accountant and Falls Church resident Haitham Ibrahim, 25, with his parents and four siblings
STARTED: “We always had my mom’s hummus for breakfast,” Ibrahim says. “You know, you dip the bread in the hummus, then scoop it with egg yolk and eat it.”
INSPIRATION: Since Ibrahim was young, his parents talked about opening their own business. “But nothing ever happened,” he says. “My grandma tried to open up a store [in Jerusalem], in our town of Mount of Olives, but passed away suddenly.” “Around 4:30 p.m. over 20 vendors of only hummus would come through our neighborhood like a daily farmers market,” says Ibrahim about his most recent visit to Mount of Olives last July. “That’s when it clicked.” He started the business later that fall.
DETAILS: “We keep the texture pretty thick. At the end of the day, it’s not a dip; it’s an appetizer,” he says. Though they use canned chickpeas now, they will move to fresh chickpeas and possibly grow their own. The $4, 8-ounce tubs are offered in plain, garlic and original (garnished with mild chili powder and olive oil). Every batch is made by his mother, Rima, with flavors layered on top rather than mixed in.
NEXT: Ibrahim wants to add yogurt and pickles to the Shamali brand—Shamali is a family nickname—as well as a new spicy chili hummus flavor. This month the team will start producing their hummus out of a distribution facility with hopes of selling at nationwide retailers, but for now it’s sold at the Del Ray, Arlington, Westover and West End farmers markets. / shamalihummus.com