In today’s Restaurant Spotlight, we’re proud to introduce you to yet another long-time customer and dear friend of Cheetah’s: Bolani. Led by founder and owner, Nazifa R. Sidiq (AKA Nazi), the company is real proof that the American dream lives on, even during a pandemic.
From the famously handmade flatbreads to the colorful variety of vegan sauces and condiments, Bolani continues to bring authentic Afghan flavors to American homes. To get a taste, easily place an order online and have it delivered to your home or look for Bolani products on the shelves of major retailers like Whole Foods.
Nazi’s Food Philosophy
From our very first phone call with Nazi, we were taken with her commitment to using wholesome, organic, non-GMO ingredients in every dish she makes. Growing up in Afghanistan and watching her grandmother groom her garden, she’s developed a deep appreciation for the nutritional and emotional value of organic food.
Bolani flatbreads – a traditional Afghan dish – were her grandmother’s specialty. She made the dough from scratch, stuffed it with homegrown vegetables and cooked it in a small clay oven. True to her national and family heritage, Nazi ensures that all the flatbreads, condiments and dips she sells are handmade, vegan and environmentally-friendly and inspired by families’ recipes across generations.
Afghan Cuisine for American Palates
Nazi arrived in New York with her family when she was only 16 years old. With war raging back home, America seemed to her like the land of possibilities. She got her first job at McDonalds, where she quickly learned how the foodservice industry works and had no problem climbing its steps.
By the time she moved to California, she’d already learned English, felt at home with American culture and had a dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Today, married with 4 kids of her own and 2 adopted, she’s as in love with the West Coast as she was the first time she visited.
Still something was missing. Nazi may have left her home in Afghanistan, but her culture and food traveled with her. In grocery stores or farmers’ markets, the traditional Afghan cuisine was nowhere to be found. Instead of being disappointed, she recognized an opportunity.
Two hours after she opened her first stand at the Corte Madera Farmers’ Market everything was sold out. A bit shocked and very happy, she now knew exactly what she had to do. She opened regular stands at farmers’ markets across the Bay Area, adding spreads, dips and other products to her famous flatbreads.
With time, she reached 200 stands which all had a long line of hungry customers, waiting to get a taste of the authentic and delicious food. From there, she expanded into retail, starting with Andronicos and quickly reaching the shelves of Whole Foods, Costco and other major retailers.
Traditional Recipes Made with Local Ingredients
Always environmentally and health-conscious, Bolani products are all made daily by hand with fresh, local ingredients. From the olive oil to the whole wheat lentil flour, vegetables and herbs, all ingredients are sourced from neighboring farmers’ markets.
The ethos of knowing where your food comes from and who made it has always been Bolani’s top priority and it’s why we love them. All Bolani products are inspired by Nazi’s grandmother’s recipes and homeland food culture and adapted to fit the particular taste of American diners.
These include top sellers like the famous spinach, pumpkin and lentil flatbreads, basil pesto and garlic mint yogurt sauces, and the recently launched four USDA organic certified teas that are brewed in house with real tea leaves instead of powders and extracts.
Get It with Cheetah
There probably isn’t a single business in the food industry that didn’t take a hit in 2020 following the COVID-19 health crisis. For Bolani, taking care of customers who could no longer visit their local farmers’ market or grocery store became their top priority. Within less than a year, the company partnered with Cheetah and launched a vast delivery service that offers anxious homebound consumers a way to continue their healthy eating routine.
We at Cheetah are proud to be part of the journey to supply customers with whatever they need, no matter what. The type of partnership we share with Bolani extends to all our foodservice operators – we provide them with next-day delivery and they help feed the many hungry customers who depend on them.