Auzoud's mission is to empower Moroccan women and youth farmers as they obtain fair prices and a more sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families.
In addition to offering only the finest authentic Moroccan foods, Auzoud is committed to working with women and youth farmers from the High Atlas mountain region. This rural area is home to hundreds of olive, saffron and argan farmers, most of whom live without simple amenities like running water and electricity. Many of the farmers are single mothers hoping to send their children to school. Auzoud has been founded by the grandson of one such farmer. Our partner cooperatives are based on membership participation and fair prices, allowing women to feed their families and educate their children. Improving the socio-economic situation, health and education of women and youth has an immediate and lasting impact on the well-being of families and the preservation of the local culture and community. We are focused on expanding the number of farmers we work with, in turn directly increasing profit margins for local farmers and most importantly, their quality of life.
Describe your product in 3 words.
More Than Capers
How did you come up with the idea for this product?
I was born and raised in the Ouzoud region of the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. This mountainous region is incredibly picturesque and gets its name from the Ouzoud Waterfalls, the tallest in Morocco. The word ouzoud/auzoud means “olive” in Berber, my native language and that of the indigenous people of Morocco and North Africa. Ouzoud’s waters contribute to the region’s fertile agricultural land, which is dotted with many small, family owned olive farms. These families still use traditional methods to harvest their olives every year. Like many of the farmers in this region, my grandfather has a small olive farm that was passed down from generation to generation...it has been in my family for as long as anyone can remember. Now ninety-four years old, my grandfather still lives off the land and the olive grove is still producing. As a child, I spent part of each year helping family and neighbors pick olives by hand during the harvest season. We would quickly move the olives to a small mill to press this extraordinary olive oil that we all loved for its full flavor and aroma. After moving to the U.S. I became inspired by my childhood memories and my connection with my ancestors’ land to help the communities I left behind. I also wanted to share the experience of quality olive oil, which is so much a part of life in Morocco, with my American family and friends. I want people here to be able to experience an authentic and flavorful olive oil of the kind that is often difficult to find in the U.S. But just as important for me is the ability to help others prosper and improve their lives, and to honor the hard work of my grandfather and the local farmers from our region. Now we have expanded and are working with three cooperatives in Morocco. All cooperative members are small-scale farmers, many of them single mothers and young people hoping for a stable income to help their families. We hope you enjoy our products and share them with your family, as we do, and that you understand Auzoud to be an offering that unites our regions, languages, cultures and religions. As such, Auzoud's logo is the dove carrying an olive branch - a universal symbol of hope and peace - in reflection of this wish for shared prosperity and peace between our communities and across the world.
What makes your product special?
Auzoud Non-Pareil Capers have an intense peppery flavor, no preservatives and come from a great source!
What has been the best part of your startup experience?
By far the best part of our startup experience has been connecting and working closely with hundreds of small farmers from my home region. I love engaging with them and learning their stories. Like my grandfather, most of the farmers we work with have farmland that has been passed down for many generations. As they finally, now, receive fair pay for their products, many farming families are able to greatly improve their quality of life and transform local conditions by, for example, sending their children to school. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute in this way!