In 2015, our Founder Hawa Hassan craved what she couldn’t find: sauces that tasted like home. Inspired by heirloom recipes from her birth country, Basbaas brings the everyday flavors of the African continent to eaters everywhere.
Born during Somalia’s civil war, she moved with her mother and four siblings to a U.N. refugee camp in Kenya.
After a year in the camp, her mother eventually found an apartment and launched a small business, inspiring Hawa’s own entrepreneurial streak later in life.
When Hawa turned seven, her mother seized an opportunity to send her to Seattle, Washington, to live with a family friend. It would be 15 years before they saw each other again.
During those years, Hawa treasured her memories of being her mother’s helper, huddling around the stove, looking after the babies, and cooking Canjeero, Bariis and Suugo. When she and her mother finally reunited, they relished cooking traditional recipes together and…
“For me, when I have such joy, and where I pull a lot of my strength, is just being in kitchens with women—commotion and stillness at the same time.”