BUSINESS TOUR: KNESSET MEMBER MEIRAV BEN-ARI VISITS THE “MAMA YARA” BAKED GOODS PLANT
Joining the “Visit the Business” events held by the Jasmine Association at businesses set up with the organization’s assistance and guidance, Ben-Ari toured Najah Khier’s new bakery. “It was very moving to see the process Najah experienced,” she said.
Knesset member Meitav Ben-Ari, who in 2016 recommended the Jasmine Association for the Knesset Speaker’s Quality of Life Award, visited the plant recently established by Najah Khier. For the past two years Khier received professional business setup guidance and follow-up from the Jasmine Association. Ben-Ari toured the plant together with Jasmine CEO Kiram Baloum and Jasmine staff. The “Mama Yara” plant is located in the Tefen Industrial Zone and named for Najah’s daughter, Yara.
This visit is a follow-up to the first visit two years earlier in Najah’s home. Over the past two years, the plant was established in Tefen based on Ministry of Health requirements and with an investment of more than NIS. 1 million. Following the visit, Najah said: “In these two years I experienced a growth in the business, along with all the challenges, and it was very valuable to work closely with my brother and my daughter, and of course Jasmine’s support, because on my own it would have been very difficult to achieve this scope of growth.”
Baloum: “Meirav was apprised of Najah Khier’s story. Najah, as the mother of a daughter who suffers from celiac, decided to turn her home baking for her child into a factory that would provide gluten free products to health stores. From that point on, Meirav and the Jasmine Association just “clicked.” Meirav believes in Jasmine’s vision and works to promote it in any way possible. This is the second time we’ve visited Najah but this time around, we came to her factory, where she and Meirav met for the first time.”
Baloum explains that the purpose of these visits is to present the business owners’ progress resulting from Jasmine’s closely attentive backup, which includes courses and practical guidance in structuring a business plan, locating sources of finance and investment, business marketing, and more. “Visiting with Najah, we heard explanations by the food technologist, and viewed a presentation and a promotional video about the business. We were also updated on planned marketing avenues,” Baloum says. The tour ended with a joint work meeting between the business proprietors and Jasmine staff, including their professional consultants, to plan the next stage of marketing.
Najah leads the business partnership together with her brother Raad Khier, a qualified nurse who left his career and decided to join the business. Khier explains why he made the career switch: “I left a promising place of employment, and decided to invest in developing this into a family business because of the chance to incorporate social and health values.” Najah’s daughter Yara, who suffers from celiac and was the drive behind the decision to expand into a fully fledged business, currently leads the business and heads the branding and marketing team. “I believe in the business, in its importance, in how it addresses the needs of celiac patients, and most of all, in children,” Yara says.
Miri Peleg, the marketing consultant providing Najah’s business with backup, says: “This business has strong potential in the Israeli market, with emphasis on health stores and chains. I feel challenged to undergo this experience with the Khier family.” Dvir, the food technologist providing the enterprise with professional guidance, emphasized that “we built a business which complies with Ministry of Health requirements, including production lines with time and output effectiveness.”
Knesset member Meirav Ben-Ari (Kulanu party), Chair of the Blue and White Lobby, following the tour: “The Jasmine Association does amazing and important work in promoting and encouraging small businesses led by Jewish and Arab women. My in-depth contact with Jasmine’s activities led me to nominating it for the Knesset Speaker’s Award, presented to the association’s representatives in a moving event.”