Some say childhood memories are forever and shape the people we become as adults, this is the story of Riath Hamed, the founder of Balqees Honey, one of the most celebrated honey brands.
I met Riath a couple of years ago, when he had come to a styling and photography workshop I worked on to introduce his honey and have the participants (who came from all over the region) sample the most celebrated honey in the UAE. Riath’s personality is so flamboyant, you can’t miss the guy and there he was with his traditional Yemeni attire, his surprisingly very colloquial English accent, and his beautifully bottled Yemeni honey (a selection of types and fusions), speaking with a passion that only he is capable of and which goes straight to your heart. The whole experience was so not what you’d expect, your mind races in curiosity. I sampled all the honey flavours and I was tasting a very different type of honey than the usual (gourmet ones included)! The honey tasted pure, clean and uninterrupted it was a pure thick yet slick indulgence of pouring honey the type you’d see in animations of the perfect reality; it was heavenly!
What I love the most about Balqees Honey – besides the fact that it is raw, untreated natural honey – is that it is the story of childhood memories that sparked a lifelong passion for honey so strong that it became Riath’s mission to offer us superior quality honey that is also very eco friendly. Yes Riath’s love is not greedy, he believes in preserving resources as opposed to depleting them. He wants us to continue to enjoy honey and wants honey to continue and there is no other way for that to happen than with realising the importance of the bees and deploying practices that do not harm them rather insure their continuity. This is an aware and responsible brand, whose founder realises the importance of bees for the continuity of all mankind “When the bees go down, they take us with them. It gets to that kinda level.” says Riath.
If only more brands are inspired to be as aware and responsible!
Watch as Riath Hamed tells you his story in his own very unique way. Listen to his passion and personality as they shine through his words and get to know him and Balqees Honey a little bit closer. Then watch him keep it balanced by telling us how he respects the bees, and how we should understand their importance and ensure their continuity.
These are 2 links for the recipe of the Yemeni Dessert “Sabayah” or “Bint Al Sahn” (both names refer to the same dessert), which Riath refers to in the video
Appreciate, love & give back a little this Ramadan 🙂