How did you start Roro’s and tell us about the business now?
I had finished my time at the College of William & Mary and had come home to begin my journey into the professional world. I had picked up a couple of odd jobs while interning at a local physical therapy clinic. In the process of figuring out whether or not to apply for medical school, I had revisited my first love, food. One of those previously mentioned odd jobs I was working fresh out of college was personal training.
One day one of my clients had caught a smell of my lunch I had prepared and asked if I would sell my food. I had never given it much thought but one thing turned into another and I decided my profession had to be my passion. My passion had always been food. So with what little money I had saved up from my time exploring the working world and some help from my family I opened my food truck, Roro’s: Modern Lebanese. I hit the streets of DC and Virginia with my big bright red food truck serving traditional Lebanese food with my own modern interpretations. After one and a half years of operating, I was fortunate enough to win Best Food Truck 2019 by Washington City Paper.
In what ways is food part of your identity?
Ever since I can remember, food has been a big part of my life. Whether it was my father taking me to the warehouse to watch him finish preparing a batch of hummus to be sent to Whole Foods the next day, standing next to my mother as she was building her own restaurant, or in the kitchen with my grandmother as she was preparing dinner for the family, food is a huge part of who I am. Food has always been a thing of joy and family for me. Being Lebanese many of my memories with my family are hummus and pita bread filled and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s funny, growing up I always had ideas of working in anything but food. Yet food is who I am.
Do you have a favorite dish or one that simply feels like “home” whenever you make or eat it?
Hands down, hummus. The classic chickpea dip is a middle eastern staple and Lebanese people do it best!
What did you most enjoy about being part of the SSSAS community?
I wish I had a whole book to write on this one. The SSSAS community has been family since I stepped on the Middle School campus. I owe so much to SSSAS. The SSSAS community helped raise me from a kid to a young adult and beyond. Whenever I had struggles or growing pains I would lean on the SSSAS family for guidance and support. The faculty, teachers, and fellow students were such positive role models and influences for me during transformative times of my life. I did then, and still do now feel loved and supported by my SSSAS family and I will forever be thankful for that.