Furn Beaino: The Extraordinary Lahm Baajin Specialist in Jounieh
Toni Beaino is passionate about what he does. Six days a week, he wakes up at 3:30—even earlier than the crack of dawn—to start preparing dough and carving out meat. Fresh premium produce is sourced and delivered daily from a large market in Nahr Ibrahim. A couple lambs are slaughtered and tested for conformity to strict standards before being brought in to be trimmed and ground.
Beaino owns and operates a bakery renowned for its lahm baajin, a Lebanese pizza spread thin with a blend of ground lamb meat, onions, tomatoes and spices. It’s not Furn Beaino’s only specialty, but it’s one of the major reasons why folks from across the country trek vast distances to visit the bakery. A crispy, ethereally paper-thin flatbread serves as a vehicle to transport that peppery, lemony meat mix into your mouth cleanly without taking away from the main attraction. And one is never enough.
|A premium blend of minced lamb, onions, tomatoes and spices atop a crisp, wafer-like dough|
40 years ago, Beaino opened a small bakery in the Old Souks of Jounieh. At the young age of 20, he was eager to launch his own business—something for himself, no matter how modest. Channeling every ounce of passion, hard work, and commitment into the end product, Beaino refused to budge on quality and consistency.
|Toni Beaino, founder and owner of Furn Beaino|
In the span of five years, he relocated the bakery to a larger outlet in Sarba just meters from where it stands today. Business continued to flourish, and a decade later, in 1990, Beaino permanently resettled to its current bastion along the inner Sarba highway. As you pull off the Jounieh straightaway not far beyond Kababji, you spot a collection of double- and triple-parked cars past a gas station precisely where the road forks. That cluster of cars confirms you’ve arrived to Furn Beaino.
Inside, the bakery bustles with more than half a dozen workers kneading dough, tending to the oven, and wrapping up orders swifter than the eye can follow. One of Beaino’s sons, Samer, doubles as cashier and runner while simultaneously welcoming every guest passing through the door. His brother Wissam also pitches in, splitting time between the Furn and his full-time teaching position at Notre Dame University. Both in their late 20s, Samer and Wissam have been assisting their father since they were adolescents.
|The bakery in full swing|
Besides lahm baajin, the bakery produces manakish with the mainstay thyme-sesame mix—zaatar—in addition to cheese, chanklish, soujouk, kafta, kawarma, and every possible combination thereof. The giant spinach turnovers shaped like triangles are also on the roll call.
|Spinach turnovers and meat pies cooling down after being plucked from the oven|
Furn Beaino is huge on cleanliness, and earlier this year, they were awarded the “Food Hygiene Inspection and Training Award” from GWR, a local consultancy spearheading quality control throughout the Levant. A stringent food safety policy means that the Furn runs daily internal inspections and receives a monthly visit from a GWR auditor adhering to international best practices. Besides this, employees don gloves and constantly wipe down work surfaces. The kitchen is free of clutter, and the whole operation ticks like clockwork.
|Hundreds of balls of an exclusive dough recipe pass through a dough press|
|Tending to the oven|
Beaino has no immediate plans to open additional outlets, but a central kitchen is on the horizon, which would pave the way for a potential network of bakeries sharing uniform standards in quality.
Until then, guests can take advantage of the Furn’s very accommodating schedule from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sunday is reserved for family, faith and, of course, recuperation. And no one deserves it more than Beaino, whose calm demeanor and winsome smile have kept him going—and have kept people returning—four long decades later.
+961 9 910 306
Note that the bakery does not take delivery orders.