We recently had the opportunity to chat with 23-year-old Wael Sabeh of The Earthen Hollow, an online retail store focusing on natural and organic gourmet food items and health and beauty products sourced in his native Lebanon. Wael, a self-professed “food guy”, loves cooking, horseback riding, and products that promote natural wellness. A psychology student at the University of Michigan, Wael started his business to share the best of Lebanon with the United States and to “bring a part of home with me.” Partnering with his cousin, Wael aims to help the local farmers and people of Lebanon by offering their products for sale in the United States, and of course, use them himself. “If a product isn’t something I would have at my own home, I won’t carry it at the shop.”
Here, Wael shares some of their popular products and what The Earthen Hollow can offer for a fresh healthy start this new year.
What is unique about the products you sell?
Starting with the skincare, which all have a base of olive oil, we carry a scent which is pure jasmine scent. This is Lebanese jasmine, which is a very different scent than the jasmine found here in the US. Of course, the skincare doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, and the brand follows the Sephora clean beauty list requirements.
Another unique item is the Award-Winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil named Darmmess. Commonly referred to as the “Bordeaux of Olive Oils”, this ultimate fan favorite comes directly from Deir Mimas, Southern Lebanon, where millennial olive trees are up to 2000 years old. The early harvest gives a taste of bitterness and green fruitiness—indeed a great example of the Lebanese agriculture potential. Just recently, it won the 2023 Gold Award at the World Olive Oil Competition in New York City, the world's largest and most prestigious olive oil quality contest. Every bottle carries a lot number showing the farmer's initials through which they can trace from tree to retailer shelf.
The Honey Jams from Lebanese brand L’Atelier du Miel are made with fruits and honey without any addition of sugar. We carry the Mulberry, Fig, Raspberry, and Strawberry Honey jams. All of them are quite popular and have phenomenal taste. Also, we carry two types of honey from L’Atelier, both from different flowers. The Oak Honey is rich in iron and helps with anemia. The Eucalyptus is very good for allergies and calms one’s throat due to the eucalyptus flower benefits.
The Zaatar mixes we carry are also unique. We carry zaatar from a brand named The Good Thymes, which are the best people in the business in my opinion when it comes to zaatar. They are all-natural with no additives whatsoever. In addition to your classic mix of zaatar, we carry one that is spicy (N0 4), one that has some nuts in it (N0 2), and one that contains flax seeds, chia seeds, and goji berries (N0 3). In addition to the regular zaatar, those mixes are also great and taste amazing.
Which product is your favorite, and why?
To choose one is quite hard, so maybe I would say my top two food-wise are the Darmmess Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Fig Honey Jam. However, skincare-wise, my favorite product would be anything in the jasmine scent as it reminds me of Lebanon, of home.
Find out more at theearthenhollow.com.