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Business Profile: Moroccan Flavors

Ten x Ten
Top: Salad Sampler; Bottom Left: Chicken Tagine; Bottom Right: Beef Tagine (Photo Source: Greenspring Media)

Hassan Ziadi was willing to return to the humble beginnings of accepting any cooking position in 2013 when he returned to the US after working abroad as an international executive chef opening several hotel restaurants because he felt Minnesota was the best place to raise his daughter, Rim. As Hassan reconnected with former employers from his first time working in the Twin Cities, he learned about the Midtown Global Market (MGM) and City of Minneapolis Business Technical Assistance (B-TAP), partner Neighborhood Development Center (NDC). MGM offered a variety of international foods but it did not offer North African cuisine and Hassan made it his goal to educate the Twin Cities on why exactly this fare was so different and special.
Over the next year, Hassan worked multiple restaurant jobs to save for a down payment on the restaurant. He enrolled in entrepreneurship classes through NDC where he studied hard to learn accounting, vendor management, menu design, and other critical restaurant management skills. During this time he was also working hard to be reunited with his wife and daughter who were still in Morocco.

Finally, Hassan received his required Food Safety license to have a restaurant in the market and the space he had been waiting for became available. He went up against seven other restaurants in a tasting competition. This was his opportunity to really show off Moroccan food.

In October 2016, Moroccan Flavors opened with Hassan’s wife Raja Samlali working at his side as his co-chef and co-owner. NDC provided a $50,000 loan to make the family’s dream possible and they continue to provide technical assistance and support. Hassan says at this point they are still focused on improving the efficiencies of running day to day operations. Raja does plan to expand their business to include selling tagines, ceramics and dishware imported from Morocco based on customer requests in the near future.   

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Last updated Aug 15, 2017

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