SFU Shows Support For Women-led Social Enterprise Caterer, Tayybeh

March 07, 2023
Chef Raghda and another chef working together at Tayybeh

Tomorrow, it’s International Women’s Day and SFU proudly supports businesses like Tayybeh — a women-owned and operated social enterprise and catering company that provides employment opportunities for Syrian refugee women. Like many newcomers to Canada, opportunities can be scarce without the ability to speak the language and network effectively, but Tayybeh has provided those opportunities and continues to support its all-female team.

Tayybeh, which means both “kind” and “delicious” in Arabic was founded by Nihal Elwan in 2016 and features the unique flavours of Syrian cuisine, which was underrepresented in the culinary scene of Metro Vancouver. Elwan knew she wanted to do something to support the influx of refugees and sought to employ newcomer women to help ease the transition to life in Canada.

With dishes inspired by their hometowns of Aleppo, Latakia, Homs, Daraa and Idlib, the food of Tayybeh has created a new path for cultural connections.

By offering a safe space for refugee women, Tayybeh has provided financial and social opportunities that they might not have had due to cultural barriers upon arrival. The women of Tayybeh, many of which had never been employed and were homemakers before leaving their country, have become the breadwinners of their families in Metro Vancouver. Some, like Chef Raghda who has been with Tayybeh since its inception, continue to support family members back in Syria and Turkey, a region which has recently experienced a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has displaced 34,400 families.

SFU has been partnered with Tayybeh as a catering provider since 2020 and what began as pop-up kitchens have now turned into a flourishing catering business that supports events of various sizes at all three of our campuses. 

“Tayybeh has proudly been serving all three SFU campuses over the past three years as an official MECS partner and we are very grateful for this opportunity that has helped us scale up our operations, expand our market and, most importantly, support more newcomer women to gain sustainable employment, become financially secure and build social connections here,” says founder, Nihal Elwan.

When booking through Meeting, Event and Conference Services at SFU, consider Tayybeh for your next catered event and help support women-owned social enterprises.

Three Tayybeh staff working a catering function
Swaret Al Set Dessert