Business

Reinventing a Middle Eastern Classic Dessert: Moons Baklava SF

Written by Munazza Shaikh and Published by Carol Hoang
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Are you curious about what Moons Baklava SF is about? Or are you interested in learning about how Baklava is being reinvented? Learn from an amazing young entrepreneur whose passion for Baklava has led to a new business that is pushing the bounds of tradition @moonsbaklavasf.

Do you live in the San Francisco area and want to support Moons Baklava, use this order form: Moons Baklava SF


Hi everyone! My name is Munazza (aka Moon), from @MoonsBaklavaSF. I am 20 years old and I started my business selling Baklava a little over a month ago. Baklava is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert that was very rare to come across in the area I live in.

Moons Baklava: San Francisco Proud

I’m from the the San Francisco Bay Area and my family would only ever see this dessert on special occasion. For this reason, I decided to attempt to make it myself this past thanksgiving. I’m not a baker at all but I believe anyone can make anything if they have a good recipe to follow.

A Precious Dessert, Made with Love

Baklava has become something that is so precious to me. I pour my heart and soul out into each piece, even if its 5am and I’m on my 8th batch of the day. I truly love doing this and serving my people. At first I was a bit intimidated as I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to capture the true Middle Eastern flavors.

But I’ve learned that there are many different ways it can taste, so I do the best I can with what I know and try to improve as I go. After experimenting with many different recipes I saw online, I finally put together my own, and decided to start selling.

Turning a Passion, Into a Business

This was something I was very unfamiliar with but I figured I had nothing to lose. I started out selling to my neighbors and slowly got my name out around the Bay Area. I started to come across people on similar paths as me and became apart of the small business community, which i have to say, is filled with some of the most amazing individuals. Everyone is so kind and supportive of one another and I have the highest respect for my fellow business owners.

Finding Purpose: By Discovering the Value I Add

My ultimate reason for starting this was to build a platform where I could express myself through my food, offer support to my community, and overall spread a message of positivity. This past year was hard, as I’m sure many of you can agree, I had hit one of my lowest points in life and felt lost, which leads me to why this business means so much to me. I’ve spent so much of my life feeling purposeless, but through this I’ve learned that i have so much to offer the world, not just in terms of food, but in terms of my love and my kindness.

I wanted to inspire others to do the same, to let go of the limit they put on themselves and chase their dreams. Like my brother always tells me when I’m feeling stuck or hopeless, the sky is the limit, and believe me when I tell you, it truly is. We all have so much power in us as humans and I hope each and every one of you find the courage to claim it.

Reinventing a Middle Eastern Classic, With a Modern Twist

Traditionally baklava is made of filo pastry and filled with chopped nuts, but I take a modern twist on mine by offering flavors like Nutella, White Chocolate, Oreo, etc. I love experimenting with new flavors and am currently working on releasing a new Lotus Biscoff Flavor.

The recipe base I use is a combination of Greek and Turkish, with the syrup comprising of sugar, water, honey, and lemon and my nut mixture consisting of almonds, walnuts, pistachios and cinnamon. The one thing I feel is most special about my baklava is that I am the sole baker of each piece I have sold. I’ve spent so many long nights on my own, baking and assembling boxes in my kitchen. But when you’re truly passionate about something, it never feels like work, so it’s all worth it to me.

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