All good things come from great beginnings.
And Kohkoz is no exception!
Born out of family tradition, Kohkoz’s story technically began centuries ago when founder Natalie Fakhoury’s ancestors first began perfecting their recipes.
Handed down from mother to daughter and father to son through each generation, we finally get to Auckland in the 21st Century when Kohkoz was about to be released into the world.
Read on to hear more about the Kohkoz story and where it all began.
The Kohkoz Story: Where It All Began
From a young age, Fakhoury has always loved food and been passionate about sharing the authentic flavours and colourful heritage of Lebanese cuisine with New Zealanders.
Brought up in a typical Lebanese home, there was always food on the go! The door was always open with parents Tom and Gladys welcoming guests for good food, good music and good fun with unmistakable Lebanese hospitality.
In fact, there was rarely a night where they only cooked enough food for their family as guests were always expected.
So, Fakhoury grew up with this hospitality in her blood. Watching her parents create traditional Lebanese dishes and learning the essentials from her Dad - like how to BBQ the perfect steak - saw her raised with a love of sharing good food.
These traditional Lebanese values are what Kohkoz is built on.
After finishing school, Fakhoury went on to study Business at Auckland University, but the call of traditional Lebanese food was too strong to ignore. Her dream was to share the flavours and colourful heritage of Lebanese cuisine with all New Zealanders.
So, armed with her heritage and business acumen, Kohkoz Real Lebanese Cuisine was launched in 2015 when Fakhoury was only 26.
Natalie’s vision was to deliver authentic Lebanese food the way it’s meant to be. She started out selling a small range at the Clevedon and Howick Farmers Markets where Kohkoz fast became a firm favourite with customers and kiwi foodies alike.
Even today, with the huge success of Kohkoz behind her, you will still find Fakhoury at these artisan markets, sharing her passion for Lebanese food with market goers. You can find her at the Howick market on a Saturday and the Clevedon market on a Sunday.
Spreading The Kohkoz Spirit
Before long, the demand for Kohkoz products was growing. So, it was time to take Kohkoz online! By building a professional website, Fakhoury was able to share the deliciousness of Kohkoz breads, dips, spreads and meals with a much larger range of hungry New Zealanders!
Word got out about how good Fakhoury’s creations are, and selected Kohkoz products are now available for purchase from all of Auckland’s Farro Fresh Food stores.
Despite the growth in popularity, Kohkoz still has the same spirit as when it first began. The entire range of products are made in small batches using traditional family recipes, from quality, natural ingredients, with no added colours or preservatives.
A Family Affair
We know that Fakhoury has her family to thank for generations of traditional recipes. But, it’s no surprise that family still plays a HUGE part in both her life and the business. Parents Tom and Gladys, plus brother Elias are Fakhoury’s biggest supporters.
You can often find them helping out on the market stalls each week and the official Kohkoz ‘test kitchen’ is still based in her family’s home in Alfriston.
Even the name Kohkoz is inspired by a family connection. Gladys’ nickname is Coco, so it seemed only fitting to incorporate that into the Kohkoz legacy.
And, we cannot forget her grandparents either. Fakhoury has made a number of trips to visit them in Lebanon throughout her young life. She has been particularly influenced by helping her grandparents bake savoury pastries and manakesh in their traditional bakery.
The Future Looks Bright
We’ve seen the story so far and the consistent rise of Kohkoz’s popularity amongst food loving kiwis. So, what’s next for Fakhoury and her creations?
For someone so young, Fakhoury’s passion, enthusiasm and drive are impressive! Only the sky's the limit. She continues to live her passions by adding to the Kohkoz range with even more variety and delicious additions.
She’s grown Kohkoz from a Farmers Market stall to a full range of artisan dips, spreads, falafel, bread and meal bases. While she remains true to her promise of creating traditional Lebanese cuisine the way it’s meant to be, she isn’t finished yet.
Fakhoury will continue creating and producing the Kohkoz products you know and love, and intends to expand the range further still. But, you can be assured that the Kohkoz values will never change. There will never be corners cut, just good, healthy, full-of-flavour food that is made to be shared.
Why not share some Kohkoz with your family today? Head over to the online shop to browse delicious, authentic Lebanese dips, spread, breads and more now.