When we first told the story of Spice Tree Organics, a Queens-based spice blend purveyor, co-founder Doaa Elkady underscored how the unwavering support of her family made it possible for her to focus on making the business successful.
When Elkady and her co-founder Freda Nokaly caught up with Edible Queens for this video story, they went deeper into the pressures of being mothers and entrepreneurs as the same time. The lifelong work building a family—Freda has four children, while Doaa has two—would have been adequately supported by the conventional white collar careers they had pursued prior to starting Spice Tree. However, both of them were deeply invested in healthful cooking, and realized that giving customers the means to cook better food was a much brighter reward for their overtime than a conglomerate paycheck.
This mission keeps Nokaly and Elkady motivated, even when faced with the stress of missing a part of their children’s lives. Yet, having seen the positive impact their spices have made on customers, they want to be more than providers for their children. They’re determined to be the role models for independence and dedication that all children could use. Both of their families have sculpted their day-to-day lives in support of this dream—a reminder that motherhood issues are really parenthood issues, best taken in the context of the family as a whole.
As their kids enter their pre-teen years and Spice Tree Organics moves to the next stage of growth, these sisters (in-law and in deed) will undoubtedly face even greater challenges. As family-oriented entrepreneurs, they aim to blend the best of their many roles into a recipe that’s true to their values.
© Music by Dorian Love (dorianlove.com).
© Photos by Donnelly Marks (instagram.com/donnellymarks).
Through September 1, Edible Queens is collaborating with Edible Manhattan, Edible Brooklyn, Edible Bronx, and the Staten Island Advance to debut 30 new one-minute videos about food and life in New York. Subscribe to 1 Minute Meal to see food films from all five boroughs