08 November 2014

My Fresh Adventure with Barakat

I often buy Barakat juices whenever we're at the supermarket, so when the opportunity came for bloggers to visit their factories and see firsthand how all their products were prepared, I immediately accepted the invitation.
We met up at their Fresh & Easy cafe located along Jumeirah Road on Saturday morning, where we were each given a special Strawberry Refreshment, made only for My Fresh Adventure. By this alone, you could tell that exciting things were in store for us.
While sipping the refreshing drink that had real strawberry bits, I looked around the brightly colored shop and was glad to see that, true to its name, everything was really freshly made. From the juices, sandwiches, and salads, to the cookies, and ice cream too!

A while later, their General Manager Mr. K.S. Santosh gave a small speech to welcome us and tell us a few things about Barakat, which means "prosperity." They call their employees "Barakatis" and their commitment is to provide fresh fruits, vegetables, and juices...bringing to their customers that feeling of home-prepared meals, that have the same love as a mother.
We then boarded a bus that would take us to their Juice & Fruits factory. On the way, we listened to an inspiring story of how the company began by a single man's humility, hard work, and efforts.

At the factory, we were welcomed by their CEO Mr. JR (the humble person who started it all) and Chef Mike Wunsch.

And right after that, we were given green insulated suits, hairnets, face masks, and blue booties for our shoes in preparation for the tour.

Inside the factory, we saw where all the fruits were stored, how they were individually checked, the juicing machines, and everything else up to the packaging where they end up in bottles or salad containers to be distributed to the supermarkets, cafes, and their other clients like Emirates Airlines and Starbucks.

You should have seen how fast the Barakatis manually peeled and cut the pineapples and melons in a matter of seconds.  They were so unbelievably fast!
Of course a factory tour wouldn't be complete to test the products, and that's what we did. We got to try a variety of their juices and smoothies that were all so delicious.
It was my first time to try their Muesli Smoothie, and I liked it right away. I even asked for a refill!
And since we couldn't stop raving about how much we liked what we tasted, just before we left that factory, one of the Barakatis gave a few of us a bottle each of our favorite flavors. Yaaaay!
Our next destination was the Veggies factory, where again we donned our cool outfits. Chef Mike then gave us a live show of how we can prepare tasty dishes just by adding a few spoonfuls of Barakat soup to their vegetables that come in microwavable bags. He also taught us how to make smooth tangy salad dressings with the use of Barakat juice!
We were then shown around the rest of the factory where each particular group of vegetables were washed, peeled, cut, and packaged.  And almost all of these painstaking processes were being done manually, by hand! Even the onions, which we all know is one of the hardest vegetables to handle. Wow!

The room where they make ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yoghurt was the last place we visited in the factory. Except in their Fresh & Easy cafĂ©, these aren’t easily available in the market yet. But you can place an order of any flavour you want, and they’ll readily make it for you. And when I say any flavour, I really mean ANY FLAVOUR. From the usual chocolate and vanilla, to the special ones like Honey Wasabi, Balsamic, and even Cigar!

Finally, we were led to a room where a spread of mouth-watering food was waiting for us. The onion soup was so creamy and tasty, many asked for seconds! =)
We enjoyed sausages, quesadillas, rolls, salads, fresh juice (of course!) and a variety of their ice-cream. Yummy!

Before leaving, we were each given their veggies in the microwavable bags and stationery items that are particularly useful to bloggers: cute notepads, a paper cube pad, pen, and USB.
So we not only learned how the Barakat products are made, but we got to enjoy the quality results as well.
Thank you, Barakat for a truly Fresh Adventure!

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