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In this episode of Hunting Influence, Aaron is joined by Mariam Elghani, Founder & CEO of Mariam’s Garlic Goodness. They discuss the importance of brand ethos, maintaining a positive mindset and why entrepreneurs should seek competition.

Key facts

  • Mariam’s LinkedIn
  • Mariam’s Garlic Goodness website
  • Mariam’s parents own a restaurant in California named Falafel
  • Mariam’s parents are farmers from Lebanon but migrated to the USA
  • Cooking and trying out new recipes is Mariam’s passion 
  • Mariam tried her first garlic dip sauce in 2017 in her parent’s restaurant
  • Mariam is a natural food CPD entrepreneur and a public health professional at the University of California, Berkeley.

Key takeaways

  • Mariam’s inspiration in the food industry comes from her parents, who own a restaurant
  • Mariam has wanted to be an entrepreneur since the age of 15. However, she prioritized her studies over her business interest and did not start until 2016, when she finished college
  • After finishing college, Mariam initially thought of becoming a speech-language pathologist, but she realized that she wanted to do something related to “food,” which makes her happy 
  • Mariam’s part-time work experience at the University of California has helped her in managing multiple things simultaneously and  building up a network
  • Initially, Mariam spent a lot of time learning, researching, and trying out different recipes to find out what works best with garlic. She took it slow as she believes “slow and steady wins the race
  • After trying different recipes for a year, Mariam finally launched her first Garlic dip jar in 2016, at an event she hosted for the Muslim community at her parent’s restaurant called “Halal foods” 
  • She introduced the dip in mason jars instead of regular jars to catch customer attention
  • The first deal she made was with the buyer at the Natural Food Store. Mariam believes that her confidence landed her the deal
  • Mariam invested everything she saved from working at her parent’s restaurant on minimum wage into her business 
  • Mariams Garlic Goodness expanded its reach from 10 to 80+ retail stores from Jan 2020 to Jan 2021 
  • Mariam chose “garlic” as the key ingredient because she was introduced to it from an early age and was also aware of its health benefits such as cleansing the body and reducing inflammation. Mariam defines her business as putting “science and taste together” 
  • Mariam’s biggest mistake was marketing her product under the wrong label; she admits that she did not hire anyone professional to create the jar label for her dip. As a result her product took a long time to reach the retail store shelves
  • Mariam has learned over time that being consistent with the recipe and taste is the key to her success 
  • As an entrepreneur, Mariam believes that it is essential to step out of the fear of your competition 
  • During the pandemic, to cater to the growing online traffic, Mariam focused on targeted social media ads
  • Mariam’s vision for the next five years is to become a recognized national brand
  • Mariam believes that eCommerce plays an important part in modern selling; as it provides you with the possibility to sell your product to the masses without being physically present 

Mariam’s morning ritual

  • Mariam wakes up at 5:00 am, makes herself a cup of coffee, and listens to How I Built This by Guy Raz

Mariam’s biggest influence

  • John Weave – Business Owner at Foodcrafters of RI

Mariam’s advice to young entrepreneurs who are just starting out

“Perseverance is the key to success!”

The content Mariam watches or listens to

Quotes

“There is always going to be competition. You should not be afraid of it.”

Mariam Elghani
CEO & Founder of Mariam’s Garlic Goodness

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