Soha Frem Karam has donned many hats during her career. After studying landscape design and agriculture engineering, she worked for over 15 years in policymaking and development with governmental institutions and UN agencies. However, it was her undying love for Lebanon that encouraged her to address the country’s apple crisis and found WATA Cider in her family’s orchard in Mount Lebanon.
What can you tell us about the WATA’s orchards?
Our orchards are at the core of our brand and our values. Just like wine, ciders are as good as the fruit (apples) they come from. At WATA, we have been growing and handpicking premium dessert apples for four generations. We adopt sustainable agriculture practices and ensure there is no disruption to our agri-ecosystem. Respecting our terroir and its qualities reflects directly on the distinct character of our ciders. Having a taste of “our terroir” is what we would like for our consumers.
How has your brand grown since its launch?
WATA was launched in the summer of 2019. Despite Lebanon’s socio-economic situation and the coronavirus, we not only tripled our production and sales but also gained popularity across all age groups and social backgrounds. This is a major achievement for the brand, as we worked hard to introduce this new drink to the market and raise awareness about it.
Do you have any new products in the pipeline or plans to export abroad?
Our main objective is to grow in volume while maintaining our artisanship and quality. We are working on exporting our brand and currently have potential leads from various restaurants and bars in Europe, the U.S. and the UAE.