Standing in Offah’s shared space with Basics supermarket in City View 6th of October, it was amazing to see tomatoes from Makar Farms, greens from Egyptian Hydrofarms, fresh eggs from Sara’s Organic Farms and the daily fresh fish delivery by Bustan Aquaponics right before our eyes.
Founded in 2010 by Giancarlo Rispoli and Omar Hegab, Offah’s vision of providing people with the highest quality locally grown produce has since grown to fruition, with an even brighter future than both could have imagined. This year marked a greater partnership when Louay El Kut and the El Kut family joined Offah to assist in setting up shops in Cairo and beyond.
It’s refreshing to see that all partners have a longstanding background in the production and management of fruits and vegetables in Egypt; Omar and Giancarlo previously worked in exporting produce and Louay’s family farms. They found that they shared many of the same beliefs concerning the state of the industry, and its questionable practices, and decided to take action which resulted in the birth of Offah.
In Arabic, ‘offah’ is the word used for baskets made of palm leaves and filled with fresh produce and goods that was delivered door to door. This conventional concept resonated with them for their mission of “reviving the tradition of the offah”, by bringing wholesome goodness straight from the source to the customer’s door. Their gift hasn’t stopped giving, as Offah has now moved from a solely online, by order outlet to creating accessible branches throughout the city.
What They’re about
“We are targeting gated compounds and areas where there is no source. We want to be the shop next to your home for your daily fresh needs of fresh fruits and vegetables”, Omar told us.
Offah started with the goal of being “a healthy, fresh vegetable source”, to provide higher quality products with competitive pricing. The website began on a zero stock concept, where producers deliver their products in the morning to be delivered to clients that same afternoon.
Because Louay and Omar have experience in agriculture and the export business, they’ve established an international level of quality control with the produce they sell, and knowledgeable relationships with famers. This practice is based on their ideology that, “If [foreign] people care so much that they have to source well from farms, then we should do this for Egyptians”. They know that production quality is ultimately a matter of public health, so they work to additionally educate farmers about more healthy and sustainable practices, like cutting down on pesticides. Offah also stands for spreading knowledge to their consumers about the different types of produce they offer and what can be created with it.
With the increased awareness of healthy options hitting Cairo, their mission to raise standards within the Egyptian produce market is quickly gaining ground. Creating a fairer trade for farmers, who generally receive the least amount of profits for farmed goods, with the guarantee that Offah knows exactly what’s in the goods they are selling allows them to stand as an umbrella of transparency between farms and consumers. This ultimately assures the highest quality to buyers and maximum profits to farmers, which helps ensure their production stays “top notch”. Additionally, setting standards based upon international markets creates a culture of accountability for famers and producers, and a safe selection for you and your family. They’ve really got us covered from source to shelf.
Where and How
“There’s a big awareness in the past few years of healthy food. There’s a big movement. Part of it is ‘Where shall I get my source of veggies and fruits?’ I’m always getting asked that question.” Omar tells us. Offah understands how tricky it can be to get your hands on reliable, clean products within Cairo, especially when living on the fringes in 6th of October and New Cairo. That’s why their website allows you to order a variety of goods to your home, and their first location in Cityview has proven to be hugely successful.
Shopping through Offah means you can get your hands on some of the cleanest products on the market, all in one place. They proudly work with and feature a wide range of products from Makar Farms, Pico, Bustan Aquaponics, Sara’s Organic Farms, Jana, Egyptian Hydrofarms and MAFA Farms.
Not only does Offah care about the quality of the products they’re selling, but they care about the environment as well. Moving towards more environmentally friendly packaging and shying away from plastic and Styrofoam containers is a major goal in their expansion process. They are currently working on baking their own gluten free bread, providing quality dairy products, fresh juices and hormone free balady chickens and meat. Watch for new locations to pop up near you as Offah is seeking to “cater to everyone” with a further focus in 6th of October, Zamalek, Maadi and New Cairo.