As part of our Meet the Member Series, we recently visited the kitchen and offices of Eat Offbeat in neighboring Long Island City to meet with Co-Founder Wissam Kahi and Courtney Sproule, Communications and Events Director.
Eat Offbeat was founded in 2013 out of a longing for better hummus. Catering to groups of 10 or more, the business has steadily grown and they are currently exploring ways to improve distribution and continue to invest in the brand. Since their founding, the company has benefited from organic press coverage which has allowed them to work on projects such as a dinner with former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Queen Rania of Jordan.
A socially responsible catering company, Eat Offbeat is bringing more variety to New Yorkers thanks to the help of their international chefs from Eritrea, Syria, Afghanistan, Nepal, Iraq, Sri Lanka and beyond. Many of their chefs have been referred through a partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a global, nongovernmental humanitarian aid organization with the mission of offering emergency aid and long-term assistance to refugees and those displaced by war, conflict and natural disaster. As we spoke to Co-Founder Wissam, he noted the passion these chefs bring to sharing their cherished family recipes and traditional meals, with each dish lovingly prepared as if they were cooking for their own family. They also have the particularity, as employees, of being exceptionally ambitious, resilient, loyal and proud of their work. Apart from delivering great tasting meals that are a great conversation starter, Eat Offbeat strives to change the narrative around refugees.
One of those refugees, Sarujen, from Sri Lanka, spent time in Turkey before the approval of his family's request for Asylum in the United States 5 years ago. He and his mom Shanthini now work in the Eat Offbeat kitchen while he pursues his degree in film studies at La Guardia Community College. His responsibilities include delivery dispatching, packaging, ordering & stocking. Through his experience with Eat Offbeat, he notes that he has gained responsibility and appreciates working alongside passionate chefs that are proud of what they do.
Future Eat Offbeat projects include the expansion of their footprint through various brick & mortar partnerships, the development of their menu and perhaps an app. Thanks to the NYC business environment, that Wissam credits as being ripe with resources, networking events and favorable to entrepreneurs, Eat Offbeat is sure to be a staple on the New York food scene for the months & years to come.
If you're interested in working with Eat Offbeat for your next company lunch or event, reach out to them through our member directory.