Passing thyme with restaurateur Carla Rebeiz

Passing thyme with restaurateur Carla Rebeiz

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Having spent her life between Paris and Brazil, Carla Rebeiz left her job as an investment banker to establish Eats Thyme, a food concept. HN spoke to the Lebanese entrepreneur to learn more about her journey

What can you tell us about Eats Thyme?
Eats Thyme is a contemporary take on Lebanese cuisine that focuses on seasonal, fresh ingredients. We redefined the manoushe by creating new recipes, mixing Lebanese and international flavors that truly tickle the taste buds.

What prompted you to make the career switch from finance to food?
While I was already offering financial advice to entrepreneurs who were developing food concepts, I imagined having my own thing. I wanted to do something innovative and make Lebanese cuisine universally appreciated.

What challenges did you face in launching the brand?
The challenges were numerous, from pitching the concept to investors to financing the project during the collapse of the Lebanese economy and the October 2019 uprising. We opened Eats Thyme in Paris amid a global pandemic and have had to adapt to new lockdown measures every day while trying to build a loyal customer base.

Where do you buy your ingredients from?
We source our zaatar and sumac from a women’s cooperative in Lebanon, thus providing them with financial support. The halawa and tahini are from Cortas. I am always on the lookout for premium orange blossom water, pomegranate molasses and arak, among other Lebanese favorites.

Do you have any recommendations for food producers?
Focus on producing top-quality produce, respect your workforce, think sustainability, reduce packaging and make it recyclable, and find innovative ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Why do you think Lebanese cuisine is appealing to foreigners?
Lebanese cuisine has international appeal because it is varied, healthy and tasty. Only the freshest ingredients should be used. There are so many vegan and vegetarian options. Mezze platters allow you to share and enjoy multiple flavors in a single meal, which adds to the whole experience.

Are there any specific food trends you’d like to incorporate into your menu?
Organic, vegetarian and vegan choices are always on our menu. You must try our naturally colored and super tasty hummus platters and, of course, our innovative manoushe recipes.

Do you have plans to expand beyond France?
From its inception, Eats Thyme was developed with the ambition of expanding the brand internationally. We are already researching markets outside France.

eatsthyme.com

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