Just before Eid ul Adha last year, I spoke to Ahmed Irfan Khan, CEO of Barkaat Foods, about his very successful halal to your door delivery business, Taaza2u.com. I’ve been intrigued by the concept since the first day I heard about it several years ago and had their meats delivered directly to my home. I found it an incredibly helpful and ingenious solution to the problem of having to drive around from store to store looking for great quality meat this is also guaranteed to be dhabiha (slaughtered according to halal standards). Also, because they’re local to Chicago, it’s important to me that I am supporting a local and halal business.
Most recently Mr. Khan and his company were featured in the USA Today article below on Sharia Compliant financing, a very interesting read, especially for entrepreneurs in niche industries.
I had so many questions for Br. Ahmed that I asked him some questions that were on my mind and wanted to share with you what I think were some of my best conversation pieces with him. Here are some bits and pieces from our conversation…
Ahmed Khan says that his family is at the heart of the business. Before opening Barkaat Foods and Taaza2u.com, he had no background in the halal industry per se but he knew there was a service needed for authentic dhabiha meat. Barkaat Foods acquired Chiapetti in Sept. 2009 which was the USDA’s last large-scale plant; over time he developed a many relationships with farmers and customers.
Barkaat Foods is a B2B business with over 40 employees (as of last year) and the engine behind Taaza2u.com (Fresh Direct), a B2C model. They remained a manufacturer of fresh raw meats, created a distribution channel, built loyalty with customers and focused on branding and customer interaction. They then built the infrastructure that still holds up Taaza2u.com today.
*“Taaza” means “fresh” in the Urdu language*
Since customization of cuts and personal customer specifications on meat orders are a really surprising aspect of their online business, I asked why they decided to offer such customization, which is really not very easy to do as a business.
Mr. Khan responded by saying that he felt he was blessed with a fantastic team and believes in providing superior service and quality and backing that with a customer service guarantee. He’s seen the company grow since 2011 and sees Muslim consumers as a very captive audience. That’s why they decided to take on the additional burden of customization.
He also told me that the most important aspect of the business is the hand-slaughtered dhabiha halal process. They follow one authority, the Sharia Board of America (Islamic Social Services) and also stay tuned with Halal Advocates of America (secondary).
With Barkaat Foods having the only plant in the Midwest capable of conducting the hand-slaughtering process of lamb, beef, veal and goat at a large scale, they’re incredibly unique and provide a wonderful service to the greater Chicago community desiring dhabiha halal meat, as well as any consumer interested in a transparent process in which grass-feed meats are made available to the public via Taaza2u.com and their greater Chicagoland delivery service as well as some parts of Indiana and Wisconsin.
Mark your calendars for next Eid ul Adha, you can book your Qurbani/Udhiya (sacrificial meat order) online, too!
About the Giveaway
We’re giving away one $65 order of meat (with FREE delivery) to one winner in the Chicagoland area (IL- USA). To enter, read our official guidelines then simply take a look at the Taaza2u.com site and tell us what you would order and what you would make with that order should you win. Giveaway ends on October 22, 2014UPDATE: We have a winner- Rafia Awais, please contact us as soon as possible and congratulations to you!