I'm proud of my rich and beautiful heritage though it's not always met with acceptance, curiosity, or understanding. Being a part of the Persian diaspora can be isolating.
On this page, you'll find small businesses that celebrate Persian culture and help me feel more connected to my heritage. I hope they can be a resource for those looking for a similar connection. This page is being updated with more businesses, so feel free to check back again soon!
Saba's care and attention to detail is evident with each jam. She works with local farmers and uses fruits only when they are in season. Her flavors are rich, and you can taste the high quality of her organic jams with each bite. Many of her flavors transport me to my grandma's homemade jams. They pair well with just about anything, from toast, ice cream, to Persian breakfast.
Little Persian Learning is incredible for kids and adults alike! It's helpful to any Persians wanting to relearn, refresh or teach their kiddos Farsi. The tools are also great for the English speakers in your life desiring to learn. The teaching materials are high quality and well designed. In the Spring, you can purchase their very popular interactive Norooz kit.
Louisa's site is a great online marketplace to find spices, ingredients, and sweets that can be hard to come by if you don't live in a city with a Persian grocery store. Many of her sweets are gluten free friendly and oh so tasty. In the Spring, she carries Norooz kits; my favorite part of the kits are her marzipan mahi (fish). A huge bonus- she ships her items in compostable materials!
Omid Roustaei is a man of many talents, with two of them being a cooking and teaching. His website is full of helpful recipes. For example, if you don't have access to kashk where you live, (for kashk e bademjoon or ash e reshteh), Omid has a recipe so you can make your own! He also artfully shares the history and stories behind many dishes.
Engaging with Fariba's site is like walking through a bazaar in Iran. There are so many beautiful, wonderful, and tasty things that catch your eye. She has Iranian home goods, kitchen supplies, home decor, and jewelry in addition to her delicious baked goods. Her online store is the only place I've been able to access freshly made samanoo for Norooz.
Misha is a talented artist and takes inspiration from nature to create beautiful prints, home goods, scarves, and greeting cards. She also uses her art as a form of activism and to inspire others. Misha does not shy away from incorporating her Persian heritage into her designs. I love that I can send out beautifully painted greeting cards for Persian holidays, such as Yalda or Norooz. She also stands out for her business' sustainable practices.
Bahareh is superb at teaching Farsi. She holds a PhD in translation studies, and her expertise is evident in her flawless ability to explain sentence structure and the meaning of words. She has a series of helpful teaching books available. She also provides Farsi lessons, with a free introductory session available. Even as a Farsi speaker, I learn so much from Bahareh's insightful explanations! My favorite thing is to follow her on Instagram and partake in her Farsi vocabulary and grammar quizzes.
Based in London, Kiani Tea is a speciality tea shop that partners with Iranian farmers to bring high quality tea free of pesticides and additives. The owner's great grandfather was a notable tea merchant in Iran. I've learned so much about the tea industry in Iran from engaging the business. Each tea comes with helpful brewing instructions to bring out the delicious qualities of the tea.
You can order Kiani's delicious teas from Gilan and other regions, even if you live in the US- just be sure to allow for 2-3 weeks shipping time.