Author Archives: Anissa Rafeh

Turning Japanese

Turning Japanese

It is estimated that Lebanese consume about seven million pieces of sushi each year. Of those seven million, about 500,000 are ordered from Sushi Bento, the sushi delivery service established in July 2001. Revenues for the first year totaled $300,000. By 2003, that figure increased by over 33% to reach $400,000, and it is projected

Home style cookin’

Thanks to the rash of various eateries in Beirut, not to mention the ongoing sushi craze, the current trend in Lebanese dining would appear a long way from eating fassulya wu ruz in mom’s kitchen. But that is just the kind of image that La Tabkha – the latest eatery to open its doors in

Capturing Ramadan

It started as the $40,000 pet project of a young entrepreneur in 1995 and ended up a trend that today seems to have been with us forever. The Ramadan tent, originally an Egyptian invention, was stunningly simple in that it offered a venue for people to meet and socialize after breaking the fast. Today, such

Toy story

Providing established brands at an affordable price has helped Toy Market Trading sell an estimated $14 million worth of toys in 2003. This represents 35% of the $40 million local toy market and it has China to thank. Cheaper operating costs have allowed the major international toy manufacturers to be more competitive and Toy Market

Spinal tap

Hassan, a 38-year-old marketing manager, is talking about his first bout with lower back pain. “It was so bad, I could hardly step off the sidewalk,” he said. “I tried everything. I did stretching and when that didn’t work I rested. I used Deep Heat on the afflicted area. I even thought I had cancer

The wedding planners

This year, roughly 1,000 couples, spending between $25,000 and $35,000 each, retained the services of wedding planners, those hardy souls who organize, advise, coordinate and offer a shoulder to cry on. Essentially an American import, wedding planning has evolved from a few scattered operators into a lucrative $7 million niche sector, serviced by a dozen