It started over a dinner that turned into a movement at a time when the social fabric of our country was threatened by rising religious bigotry. Now we want to share our Interfaith Foods with you, while bringing awareness to and raising funds for initiatives that foster unity and inclusivity.
Watch Mohammad's latest talk as he discusses why it is important, now more than ever, to familiarize ourselves with our farmers and support local food production.
After surveying 200+ potential consumers from a variety of religious backgrounds, 100% said they would be more observant of their dietary laws if their options were more accessible and higher quality. Here’s how we plan to help out with that.
The food businesses we are in contact with are hungry to make their spaces more inclusive to America’s growing Muslim and Jewish consumer base, while using our 2-in-1 products to save time, money, inventory space, and food waste.
Your Abe’s Eats purchase supports the development of new programs that celebrate interfaith unity and inclusivity. These initiatives may include Shabbat Salaam and Yalla, Yalla!, or be led by partner organizations that are part of our Sadaqah/Tzedakah Fund.
Our Shabbat Salaam Dinners have premiered Interfaith Meat and multi-faith programming to 1,000+ attendees from San Francisco to NYC.
Food tells our diverse stories. Our new Yalla, Yalla! Walking Tours explore Muslim and Jewish immigrant identities in NYC through the sacred spaces they have built and the delicious foods they have prepared.
After the 2016 elections, anti-Semitic bigotry rose by 57% (ADL, 2017) while anti-Muslim bigotry rose by 91% (CAIR, 2017).
By offering Interfaith Foods we celebrate the commonalities that exist between our Muslim and Jewish families, while offering better foods for everyone. (Fun fact: +80% of Halal and Kosher foods are consumed by Americans who have no religious affiliation to Islam or Judaism.)
By creating inclusive spaces through our programs, we promote peace building at the dinner table.
Through our Sadaqah/Tzedakah fund, we reinvest 5% of our proceeds back into nonprofits initiatives and organizations that combat hate speech and violence.
We partner with American ranchers who offer meats from cage-free livestock that graze, poke, and poop on their local pastures. We source from farmers who practice sustainable, regenerative agriculture so that we help in revitalizing our land’s carbon soil to more effectively sequester carbon and naturally combat climate change. Do it the right way and food production can help our public and environmental health.
Check out "Our Products" and "Our Programs" (above) and the Support Pledge column (on the right) to learn more about our Kickstarter Rewards.
Thanks to all our backers so far who helped us gain dual certification by reaching our $12,000 goal, we are excited to now offer stretch goals.
With your help, funds that we generate will primarily go towards securing certification from well-known kosher/halal certifiers with international accreditation. Your contribution will also help us push for the commercial production of our Abe’s Meats, Hummus for All of Us, and Honey, I Love You products. We have identified promising partners across production and distribution channels that we desire to continue developing our working relationships with to bring our products fully into the market. Aside from these initiatives, additional funds will go towards developing our interfaith programming (e.g. Shabbat Salaam, Yalla Yalla!)
Mohammad Modarres is a 2018 and 2019 TED Resident and the CEO of Abe’s Eats. He is responsible for strategy, product development, brand management, marketing, and partnerships.
Brian Lai is the CFO of Abe's Eats. He focuses on the finance, accounting, and supply chain of Abe's Eats' current pipeline and future scale.
Juni Hoppe is an interfaith expert and an enthusiastic bridge-builder who has focused her post-doc research on Jewish-Christian relations. She is also the Director of Shabbat Salaam, and leads grant management, sponsorship relationships, and strategic development for the program.
Eric Salitsky is an architectural designer passionate about sacred spaces and community building through interfaith dialogue. He is also the Director of the new Yalla, Yalla! Muslim-Jewish Walking Tour.
Outside of the management team, Abe’s Eats has brought on board more than a dozen mentors across multiple industries – from food production specialists to environmental conservationists – to assist in the development of Abe's Eats and its products and programs.
The idea of Interfaith Meat was born out of wanting to host an interfaith dinner in response to the rise in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes after the 2016 presidential elections. I wanted to bring my friends together to discuss how we can effectively combat this wave of bigotry in a consistent and sustainable manner. After successfully teaming up and working with food experts and religious leaders in Oregon and California, I premiered Interfaith Meat at the first Shabbat Salaam interfaith dinner in San Francisco in Summer 2017. By Spring 2018, I was humbled to join the 5th class of the TED Residency for breakthrough ideas and began incubating Interfaith Meat into Abe’s Eats, an inclusive food brand that uses the power of food to build community and celebrate our commonalities, while making high-quality faith-based foods more accessible. By Summer 2018 I had given my first TED Talk, brought on board a childhood friend of +16 years, and focused on growing our product line, while we hosted Shabbat Salaam dinners here and there. In Fall 2018, we were honored by Specialty Foods Association and Bill and Chelsea Clinton. By Winter 2018, I wanted our approach to regenerative agriculture and local economic empowerment by working with American farmers to take center stage. We were honored to join the Climate Collaborative and make a pledge to Sustainable Development Goal #12: Sustainable consumption and production. By Summer 2019, we began producing new products, including Hummus for All of Us and Honey, I Love You. Finally, this month we won NPR’s How I Built This Fellowship - a dream come true! We cannot wait for what the future has in store for Abe’s Eats.
With your support, we hope we can continue to grow and serve all types of customers high-quality, faith-based foods. Thank you for your support!
Mohammad Modarres, Abe’s Eats
Looking for the Abe's Eats Press Kit?
#UnityInDiversity is an online video campaign that highlights the stories of a diverse group of individuals. As a food brand dedicated to inclusivity, we at Abe's Eats want to show that behind the color of our skin and the stereotypes of our religious beliefs, there are dreams and passions that can resonate with everyone on a human level. Through these human connections, we believe we can build a longer dinner table. Follow Abe's Eats on YouTube and @AbesEats to watch more stories in the upcoming weeks.
Risks and challenges
While we work tirelessly to dot our i’s and cross our t’s as best we can, there are always sourcing and production risks in launching a food venture from scratch without large, consistent volume. We have delivered a handful of B2C shipments in our local neighborhoods and across the US and hosted +1,000 attendees at our Shabbat Salaam dinners, making mistakes along the way. But in our mistakes, we have learned valuable lessons. In the process, we’ve also gained a large network of food and religious experts that want to help us succeed.
Last year, we partnered with a Kosher certified, 100% grass-fed meat distributor that gave us our first shot at commercial viability. Since then we’ve had to navigate the sensitive territory of Kosher/Halal certification and have been in discussion with two of the largest certifying bodies to sanction our own production utilizing vendors and counterparties we have previously collaborated with.
Earlier this year, we developed a hummus recipe at a nonprofit commercial kitchen in New York. We are seeking opportunities to apply the HPP process to our hummus to maintain quality and freshness during distribution and shipment.
While these two products are still prototyping, we believe we have a viable roadmap to actualize commercial production and have scaled our expected delivery accordingly. We take accountability seriously and commit to being transparent and fair with all of our backers regarding any updates and delays. We appreciate your trust in us.
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