Food of Cultures

Food of Cultures

Food of Cultures (FoC) is a Dutch social enterprise initiated in 2014. FoC is a take-away restaurant which also offers catering services. The physical location of the enterprise opened its doors in 2015. The enterprise is founded by Iranian immigrants, the couple Masood and Ziba Eslami and their daughter Mahan. Masood, Ziba and Mahan live in Netherlands already since 1994. The founder of FoC, Masood Eslami, is a 53 year old entrepreneur in the small Dutch city of Wageningen. He is the engine and power behind FoC, which is a result from his great motivation in helping others.

Born in Sari, Iran, in 1962, Masood is proud of his Persian background. He had a dream of pursuing a medical career. Nevertheless, due to the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, Universities were closed for a period of 4 years, ending his plans of becoming a doctor. In Iran Masood ran a clothing business for a living.

The objective of FoC, besides food services and creating general social cohesion, is to assist people with difficulty of integration in the labour market. Masood already has more than 18 years of experience with it through his Chip Shop. He would offer internship positions for unexperienced people, and if possible it would end up hiring them. According to him, this is the best strategy.

Masood and Ziba were nominated for several prizes for their social entrepreneurship actions within Chip Shop (Wageningen Sustainability prize, Wageningen Entrepreneur of the Year). They were also nominated for a known prize for solidarity in entrepreneurship (‘De Rooie Roos’). Masood and Ziba are the connecting point of the immigrant community in the town. Masood was asked to organize a multi-nationalities flag parade for the visit of the Dutch royal couple to Wageningen, and to give a speech during the national commemoration of Remembrance Day.