As someone who lived a healthier lifestyle, junk food wasn’t her first choice, so bringing her food from home was her way of eating healthy but tasty food. Her salads were a magical concoction of fruits, vegetables, dried fruits & nuts, cheeses and dressings that she would create herself. Soon enough, her colleagues intrigued by her delicious lunches started placing orders, and before she knew it, through word of mouth — Mai’s Salad’s was born.
With orders increasing, Mai decided it was time to bring in some order. With a menu set and people know what they could order, the requests started pouring in. She maintained doing it from home, making her salads daily for customers who would pre-order, buying groceries and supplies on the daily to keep up with her growing business. A fully-fledged, Omani home business.
With her ever-growing clientele, it slowly started taking over her life with daily trips to the stores to buy ingredients as her focus was on providing her customers with the freshest of produce. That’s when she decided it was time to make a decision — either go big and take it to the next level or to shut down Mai’s Salads.
“I took a break for a year, giving myself time to make a decision about what to do with my business. To me, the turning point was when I would meet previous customers, and they would let me know how they missed my salads that I realised what I needed to do” said Mai.
She added, “But I knew I didn’t want to go all out right away, I wanted to make a calculated decision about what to do with the business and soon enough found a small dry kitchen in Bausher. A small entrance with a table and couple of chairs, I was ready to going back to serving my customers what they wanted.”
She created a system, a trained team and quality suppliers to ensure that her salads maintained the quality and taste of when they were straight from her kitchen. Now she had a fully registered business that she had built that was entirely self-sufficient and all it needed from her was her marketing expertise to keep them growing.
Mai draws inspiration for her salads, not from recipes she finds but from her experiences. She said, “I find my inspiration for my recipes from everything, sometimes its a craving or feeling and other times a photo and even a meal that I had. To me, I can visualise what I think would work best with what, and that sparks the creativity that can be seen in my salads.”
Other than the fresh fruits and the carefully thought-out mixes of ingredients, Mai’s speciality is her secret dressings. Perfectly complementing individual salads, her dressings are what enhance the taste of her salads by manifold. Every dressing is made from scratch in her kitchen and is the secret behind the success of the brand.
Her vision is to serve her customers a full, wholesome meal and not just a salad side dish. For those looking for non-veg alternatives, Mai’s Salads also offers grilled chicken, grilled prawns, smoked salmon and tuna as add-ons.
Soon, she’ll be celebrating the third anniversary of Mai’s Salads.
“My brand isn’t about diets, but more about healthier living. I support a healthy lifestyle and maintain one myself but also life is about balance. The salads are more about delivering a full experience. It is just a good-life experience to enjoy a salad with dressing and cheese and not about counting calories. I want to shift the notion of salads being “diet” food to just clean eating, where people can be both healthy but also enjoy their meal to the fullest without compromising on taste or flavour.” she added.
Mai’s Salads can be found on Talabat and Akeed. Be sure to follow her on her Instagram @maisalads and place your order directly to the kitchen from the phone number in the bio.