“I grew up in a house that was very healthy and we always ate sugar and fat free,” recalls Sherine Tawfik, founder of Fino’s, which makes homemade nut-based butters without any of the additives found in store-bought offerings.
“We got sick of commercial brands, even the healthy ones, because they are not as healthy as they claim to be; the list of ingredients is full of things you don’t know. Store-bought butters are filled with additives, sugars, salts and stabilisers. I started [making nut butters] on a small scale and I turned it into a business because I love it,” said Tawfik, who lent her childhood nickname, Fino, to her business.
Tawfik insists that natural nut-based butters are some of the healthiest options available, especially for athletes or those with an active lifestyle. “Nuts are very healthy and very nutritious. Coming from a basketball background, [I know] nut-based butters fill you up in the morning and give you the energy you need for being active. People should not look at caloric content; they should look at nutrient content. For example, Nutella also has a lot of energy but they are all empty calories,” she said.
Fino’s makes a range of natural butters that includes peanut butter (both crunchy and creamy), almond butter (both crunchy and creamy), hazelnut cocoa butter, cashew butter and mixed nuts butter (almonds, hazelnuts and cashew).
“We don’t have many alternatives to these products except when it comes to peanut butter and Nutella which is essentially hazelnut and cocoa butter but it is processed and filled with additives. I have noticed that many mums send their kids to school with Nutella sandwiches, which are filled with empty calories and sugars. Is that necessary when there is natural, healthy option?”
Tawfik said the difference between her homemade butters and store-bought ones is immediately apparent. “We have no added oils or stabilisers and our butters are unsweetened, with few ingredients. The added stabilisers and preservatives of store-bought butters are unnecessary because the natural oils and white honey of the nuts will act as natural stabilisers.”
According to Tawfik, customers have adapted quickly to shifting from store-bought to natural and unprocessed. “There is always demand for the healthiest products you can find and for most, it does not take much time to start noticing a big difference and adjusting to, say hazelnut-cocoa butter, instead of Nutella,” she said.
All of Fino’s products exist in 360g and 600g sizes. For now, Fino’s delivers anywhere in Cairo but it has plans to expand and start delivering in Alexandria within a short period of time.