‘Made with love in Qatar’ is a tagline that newcomer microbusiness Chia Nation holds close to its core values.
The first time participant at Qatar Foundation's (QF) Torba Farmers Market, which opened its second season on Friday, aims to introduce great-tasting healthy and organic snacks to a younger generation in the hope of dissuading them from eating too much junk food.
"Plans are in the pipeline for the second phase, which is to serve full meals to our customers," Chia Nation owner Sheikha Muneera Issa al-Thani told Gulf Times.
The Torba Farmers Market is open every Friday at the Ceremonial Court in QF's Education City from 7.30am to 11.30am and 12.30pm to 5pm, and Saturdays from 8am to 6pm.
Chia Nation serves a variety of snacks made of chia seeds, which provide a wide range of health benefits.
“I love chia because it is a super seed with a lot of nutrients and benefits to the body, so I want to introduce different types of snacks that are healthy, organic, and taste really good,” al-Thani explained.
“The business is targeting the younger generation, which is why it is called Chia Nation because we want to bring up a nation that knows how to eat healthy. But aside from the youth, we also want to encourage adults to try and start eating healthy, as well,” she continued.
Like the chia seed, al-Thani said that on a deeper level, Chia Nation sees the youth as seeds planted for the future – a generation that is aware of the benefits of healthy living and the need to start eating the proper types of food that could be easily prepared and are readily available.
“We are also offering free, organic recipes on Instagram so that young people can also learn how to prepare these meals by themselves. Chia Nation is not just selling food but we also want to educate everyone,” she pointed out.
To “put a soul into the business,” Sheikha Muneera said Chia Nation wants to come out of the confines of social media and be physically present in the market. She said the company envisions having a central kitchen that would supply healthy meals to schools, universities, and hospitals.
“What we are offering is fast and healthy – it’s something that you can get before going to class or while on the go. And you’re guilt-free because you know that what you’re eating is healthy and not junk food,” she stressed.
Just as the country envisions itself to be self-sufficient across all sectors, al-Thani said Chia Nation also wants to be a self-sufficient company in the future with the aim of growing its own produce.
“The economic blockade had actually encouraged me to do my part and help the country. In the future, I hope that Chia Nation will be a sustainable business just the way the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani envisions Qatar to become a self-sufficient nation,” she added.
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