CAIRO: One of Cairo’s rather significant perks is its excessive catering to the lazy. In few other places in the world can dry-cleaning, five-star restaurants, and toothbrushes be delivered straight to your door.
In a tiny kitchen in Nasr City, Maha Shaarawy is making konafas that will also be delivered to homes across Cairo. But her orders come online through her website, aptly named www.konafa.com.
With zero marketing or advertising strategies, Shaarawy’s one-woman business is steadily growing via word of mouth and repeat customers. She now makes approximately six konafas a week, jumping to three or four a day during Ramadan.
The project started when Shaarawy, 27, and husband, were living in Algeria three years ago. She started by providing the konafas to cafes. “People would send each other the links and would meet at certain cafés just to have my konafa.
Since then, konafa has become a bit of a family affair. Shaarawy says her husband encouraged the project and designed the website. The office boy at his company helps deliver the konafas, which Shaarawy herself sometimes does as well.
She admits the original recipe came from her mother-in-law, Nadia, though she has since added to and tailored it. Even her three-year-old daughter “dies for konafa.
But she will not divulge her secret. According to the website, the magic ingredient is that the konafas “are definitely full of passion, love, talent and affection. Its ingredients are from the best quality and premium ingredients in the market. Even the way our Konafa is cooked is different from the normal and commercial known way.
Shaarawy tells me, biting into her crispy, bronzed konafa oozing out soft crème, that her konafas have evolved and adjusted to people’s comments. The end result is a sweet, sublime treat.
Aside from the tasty perks of the job, Shaarawy, who has worked before in banking and web development, also loves the freedom the job affords her.
“I love doing it. I love cooking and I love the kitchen . Other jobs were systematic and dull but with this, I never get bored, she says.
While there are currently three flavors, Cream & Ishta, Pistachio, and fasting Banana and Cinnamon, Shaarawy hopes to expand her offerings.