This International Women’s Day we’re shining a spotlight on Mouna from Arnabeet, a tale full of flavour and resilience.

Celebrating Mouna's journey from the KERB up

If you’ve stepped inside Seven Dials Market lately, you’ll have seen Mouna (a.k.a the za’taar Queen) behind the counter at Arnabeet, her Syrian cafe. But what’s the story behind it? Mouna has had a heck of a ride from the KERB up…

Venturing from Syria to London

In 2009, Mouna ventured to London to pursue a Master’s Degree, before landing a job at Amnesty International, dedicating eight years to the cause. Yet, her hunger for more drove her to seek new horizons…

With a firm belief that food knocks down barriers and breaks boundaries, she embarked on her next chapter, a food start up!

When Mouna met KERB

And that’s where our story begins, at the end of 2019 when we first tasted Mouna’s food during our run of Sunday markets at Chatsworth road, and since then, there’s been no turning back.

Mouna officially joined our inKERBator programme in 2020 right at the start of the pandemic. When the world shut down she was in the middle of her training trading at our markets, but she persevered and graduated from the programme online a few months later.

Moving in to Seven Dials Market

Fast forward three years later and a lot of hard graft after, Mouna joined the fam at Seven Dials Market in April 2023. And our Banana Warehouse is a better place since! Mouna brings a heartwarming menu full of Syrian flavours and resilience. If you haven’t paid Arnabeet a visit, you’re clearly missing out.

Mouna from Arnabeet at Seven Dials Market

Supporting refugee and female entrepreneurs

Beyond crafting mouthwatering dishes, Arnabeet has always been on a mission to make a difference. Through TERN (The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network C.I.C.), Mouna has actively been supporting refugee entrepreneurs through employment, mentorship and fundraising.

This is how Mouna crossed paths with Hind from Utopia, who went from being part of Arnabeet’s team to building her own successful business under Mouna’s mentorship. Eman from Bisan Bites was also part of Mouna’s team and now delights the London street food market scene with banging falafel and chicken wraps.

But Mouna’s mentorship doesn’t stop there, she’s also supported Halima as part of KERB’s Coaching programme, who’s now a barista at Arnabeet.

Mouna from Arnabeet and Hind from Utopia

From the KERB up

Next time you order a cauliflower wrap or indulge in an aubergine fatteh at Seven Dials Market, take a moment to think about the journey of the hands crafting your dish. Food tastes (even) better when you know where it’s come from. And Mouna’s is no exception.

Want to be the next Arnabeet? Every single independent food business you find in Banana Warehouse is a KERB member (and most of them first joined via the inKERBator). If you have a burning desire to start your own food business, apply for our free inKERBator programme here.