There’s a reason I’ve followed the growth of Cup & Roll
since day one. I love entrepreneurship. I think there’s nothing worse than
wasted potential, and here was a seemingly simple, homegrown idea that
fluttered with potential.
The story was classic: a kitchen-savvy housewife baked
delicious treats for her family and friends, and anyone who sampled her edibles
implored her to establish a business. Years later, it was her son and his
best friend that decided to act on that fervor, transforming a homemade good into a
sellable product that folks across greater Beirut have come to adore.
|Ice cream cups are now on the menu in-store only|
In the beginning it was called Pizza Cups. A special-recipe dough
was spread thin inside muffin molds, and in each, a lick of tomato sauce
and slew of fresh, high-quality ingredients were poured. In the trial phase, 30 different toppings
were tested until nearly a dozen made the cut.
But what started out as a modest
home business soon outpaced the capacity of both kitchen and cook, so Pizza Cups
paused its operation briefly to seek out partner investors, secure a
central kitchen with proper facilities, hire and train a staff (of mothers),
and undergo a brand transformation, relaunching as Cup & Roll in late
2014. Indeed, savory and sweet rolls were added to the menu, as were a handful of salads,
fresh-squeezed juices, and roasted potato spears. The meal was now complete.
I was the first to publish an interview with one of the
co-founders of Cup & Roll, and yet again the first to get my hands on the seasonal
savors that debuted around Christmastime. Since then my friendship with the
founding duo Khajag and Wassim has blossomed, and I've been rooting for their
brick-and-mortar outlet since the day I learned of it.
|An assortment of fresh out-of-the-oven savory cups|
|My all-time favorite: Chicken Pesto & Cheese|
The menu is true to the original, supplementing its
dessert offering with ice cream. There’s a self-service fridge housing salads and drinks, and
behind the counter, four staff members hustle between taking and filling
|Fresh homemade lemonade with shredded mint leaves|
|The Green & Orange salad tossed liberally in a tangy citronette|
Together with the central kitchen in Zalka, which supplies ready-made dough and prepared ingredients to the Hamra shop daily, delivery is
now assured from the northern-most area of Kaslik and Jounieh to the southern
reaches of Ramlet el Bayda, Bir Hassan, and Ras el Nabaa. Standard business
hours are between 8 a.m. and midnight, but specific to the month of Ramadan, hours
have been adjusted to 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.
I have a feeling Cup & Roll is going to become all the
rage with the teeming student population. An app is in the works to facilitate
orders from the comfort of a smartphone—tap and transmit before class is
out, then amble over to the shop to tuck into your meal immediately.
Best part? You’ll finally get to enjoy these savory cups
and rolls piping hot. You thought they were good delivered, but wait till you
gorge on them fresh out of the oven. I guarantee you’re gonna fall in love all over again.
|Framed photo of the actual making of a signature roll|
01 888 792/3
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