TBY talks to Zeina Baaklini, Managing Partner, Live Organic, on the sector.

Zeina Baaklini

Why did you decide to set up Live Organic in 2010?

The idea came from a personal journey. My family has always been into healthy eating, and for seven years I lived in Dubai, where I got into organic eating. When I decided to move back home, I wanted to serve the organic market here. It has been a tough journey, which has not been aided by the shifting political situation, as well as the lack of purchasing power and market awareness about organic foods. However, we feel that we are doing something good for the people. To date, it is not a hugely profitable business, but it is a healthy business with the potential to grow.

What are your expansion plans?

We are a family business, run on a family fund. We started with an organic produce store in Lebanon, and have since grown into a distribution company. The organic culture in Lebanon is still in its infancy, so we import a lot of the products we sell. After importing products to sell in Live Organic shops, we went a step further by distributing them to other supermarkets, shops, and specialty stores. Now, we are working on healthy vending machines branded Live Organic, which I launched in Dubai.