If you have lived in Abu Dhabi for a while you would have heard about Maria’s Kitchen. It is a business that specialises in home cooked Mexican food – a rarity in these parts of the world. Originally from Texas, Maria has been cooking for Abu Dhabi residents for the past 14 years. You must visit her Facebook page and view the menu. She offers a wide variety of delicious dishes that will have you staring at the menu for ages trying to decide what to choose! Here at RHWAD we admire Maria for her strong work ethic, her incredible sense of humour and her kind heart. We have been fortunate to know the woman behind the business, now we want you to.
Meet Maria Al Hosani, the Real Housewife busy in the kitchen creating all of your favourite Mexican dishes.
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Hardworking, dedicated and loyal.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Starting my business, Maria’s Kitchen, 14 years ago and watching it grow every year into what it is now.
Do you have children and have they influenced your career?
Yes, I have 5 boys and 2 lovely girls who encourage me and have stood by me through thick and thin.
How do you stay connected through social media?
I was a born Facebooker! I use it to update my Maria’s Kitchen groups and also receive orders through it.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I love to sew, so getting into purse making along with sewing little girl dresses would be nice.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I have to be honest, I don’t think I do a very good job there! When I’m home I tend to get business with computer work which means trying to keep my orders together, updating my group page and other paperwork. I do try to include my children in deliveries but I like the kitchen to myself.
What websites do you visit every day?
Usually Facebook, Youtube and food blogging sites.
Who is your hero and how have they helped make you who you are today?
Firstly would be my Mom, she is a go getter! Nothing has stood in her way as far as raising us and making us understand the value of hard work. She is physically challenge but never let that be an excuse for doing ANYTHING. I got all my strength from watching her, if she can do it why can’t I? Second is my sister Veronica, she is in her 4th year of being cancer free. She maintained a good and cheerful spirit through the whole ordeal. In fact she taught us to be strong and she was there for us when we though we couldn’t handle HER cancer. She faced it with a grace that can’t even be described. I got weepy…
What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Abu Dhabi?
- People would be my best friends, yes plural! They have been through the sludge with me and know all my deepest darkest sides of me.
- Places, I love the feel of The Living Room Cafe, if I could do everything there I would.
- I like the malls in Abu Dhabi, I have never been the “out doors” type so malls are at the top!
What is your goal for retirement?
I want to retire while I’m still at the top of my game, with some dignity 😉 Maybe I won’t retire, kinda thinking about giving cooking lessons!
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company in Abu Dhabi?
Just do it, says the woman who doesn’t want to open a restaurant. I do have my reasons! Be prepared to work, sacrifice and work some more.
How did you come up with the idea to start your company?
I was selling home-made Tamales to an ACS parent and Alicia Suwaina being my friend got whiff of it. So, she encouraged me to sell to ACS staff and parents while she advertised for me. Everyone liked the Tamales so much that I was asked to come up with more food ideas. I started with a menu that comprised of maybe only 3 types of Enchiladas, Rice, Beans and of course the Tamales.
What challenges as a business owner have you had to over come and how?
Main challenges have been technical, learning to use the computer, lol! It’s been pretty smooth!
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Good question! I don’t believe that I could fail. As long as you have heart nothing is impossible, I know cheesey 😉
I miss Maria’s food tremendously! And I miss her too. She is a gracious and talented woman. Continued success, Maria.
I’ve known Maria for many years now… she is one of the most beautiful ladies…. I am so, so proud of her achievements. For must try her Mexican food, it is fantastic.