Every Thursday, ILQ features a different Qatari startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all across a variety of industries in Doha—from fashion and beauty, to food and dining, health, education, technology, and more!
This week, we are showcasing Mama Rozie – a sweet two-storey restaurant that serves up authentic Indonesian, Malaysian and Filipino foods to those that are missing the true taste of home. All the food along with the pastes and sauces are fresh and prepared daily, with spices and herbs from the three countries, to ensure customers who come looking for food that tastes like home leave feeling happy, satisfied and miss their families just a little less.
Mama Rozie opened its door to the public in Doha five months ago and has an ever-growing clientele with most of the customers coming back again and again to savour their favourites on the menu and also try new ones.
Located in Muntazah Trading Centre on Hiteen Street, the restaurant has 108 items on its growing menu and some of the customers have tried all of them, with many of them bringing in requests to expand their menu further.
Mama Rozie holds its head high because it does not compromise on quality and is one of the most affordable South-East Asian eateries in Doha because it offers good food and a cosy ambience.
Mama Rozie was established when ‘The Armens’ first came to Doha after Mr. Armen landed a job here. At that time, Asian spices were not readily available here, so the South-East Asian community was struggling to find food from home. That’s when Mrs. Armen, or Mama Rozie, decided to help out these bachelors and young couples by providing them food from home. Her catering business took off almost immediately and over the years, grew steadily.
Eventually, Mama Rozie opened a restaurant in Al Khor called ‘The Sizzlers’ three years ago which has been a big hit with almost 40% of customers travelling their all the way to Al Khor just to enjoy some authentic South-East Asian food. Some even come from as far as Mesaieed and Al Wakrah.
That’s when Mama Rozie thought it was time to expand to Doha and open an eatery that truly represents the Mama Rozie family and what they represent: authenticity, quality and fresh food that tastes like home!
According to Mama Rozie’s owner, Febrariska Armen, what sets them apart from similar businesses in Qatar is the ingredients they use.
In her own words:
“We buy all our ingredients fresh daily including vegetables and seafood. and we make all of our food using traditional methods and nothing from a pre-made packet or bottles. We are a tiny family restaurant that offers freshly made food from traditional recipes to make all three countries feel like they are eating their home cooked food. We also offer a space that makes you feel like home to cure feelings of nostalgic .”
Febrariska also believes that a start-up like theirs is beneficial for Qatar’s economic growth because they buy local products from the grocery stores in Qatar and their packaging and intangible items from local star-up companies in Doha.
We wrapped up our interesting encounter with Febrariska, by asking her what advice she would give, as a successful entrepreneur herself, to new entrepreneurs who want to set up a start-up.
“They should strive for what they believe. Doha makes up of a lot of different nationalities trying to build it up to a globally known country, therefore, leave your mark here even if it is small. The world needs new entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs create jobs, lift the standards of living, ushering new technology into society, and keep the competition alive in the marketplace. Starting a business is difficult, and it’s crucial that the next generation has as much ammunition as possible. We are all relying on you to carry on the proud tradition of innovation.”
Mama Rozie is open seven days a week from 11 am to 11pm on weekdays and 7 am to 11 pm on weekends with an hour gap of break for the Friday prayers on Friday.
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