Newly Added is Saffron Popcorn, Ice Cream, and Teas
Start-Up Plans to Expand, and Create Jobs in the Lehigh Valley
BETHLEHEM, PA (July 10, 2017) — Almas Foods International LLC, a new import business bringing exotic, healthy flavorings, teas and nutritional products to the U.S. has set up operations at SoBeCoWorks, in South Bethlehem.
Founded in Spring 2017 by Ali Almasi, a Lehigh University Technical Entrepreneurship graduate, the start-up has rolled out “Zaffrus,” a high-end saffron product brand available on Amazon, and at numerous regional food retailers and wholesalers nationwide and locally. Products are also available on the company’s website at www.zaffrus.com.
“Zaffrus offers various high-end saffron products and herbal teas harvested from the tiny threads from the Saffron Crocus in Iran.” explains Almasi. He says saffron is commonly used in rice and cream dishes, desserts and teas. The threads impart a lovely golden hue to dishes and beverages.
One challenge for Almasi comprised of locating flexible, affordable operational work space, in addition the required licenses and paperwork from the FDA, the PA Agriculture Department, the Philadelphia’s Customs and Border Protection Office, and the municipality of Bethlehem.
Enter SoBeCoWorks into the plan, and when the import business secured flex-office space at the coworking incubator in South Bethlehem, the 30 year old entrepreneur knew he had room to grow.
“We can keep office space affordable for small business start ups like Zaffrus by allowing members to use or rent only the space they need, from a small desk to a large assembly area,” says Santiago Rivera, founder of SoBeCoWorks, now celebrating its fifth year in business.
From packaging to shipping, and web development, and social media, Almasi says his goal with Almas Foods International in the Lehigh Valley is to create job opportunities here and to support other businesses and services here as well.
And, he found that quickly, when for instance, Lehigh Valley ice cream wholesaler and retailers, Nuts About Ice Cream, located in Bethlehem, began to source saffron from Zaffrus. “It’s the most awesome quality we have used, and we should know, as we have been using saffron for generations,” says Bharatkumar Joshi, owner.
How is saffron used? Saffron is diffused into hot or cold water, then typically used in popular dishes for all of elements of a five course meal. Saffron can influence various cold or hot drinks, in addition to paellas, rice, chicken, curries, custards, biscuits and cakes with its golden hue. Our mission at Zaffrus is to offer top quality saffron products and to promote healthy foods with saffron. Saffron is also noted for its health and mood lifting qualities.
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