In 2016, founder and CEO of Halvana, Mark Stein, was traveling through the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa and discovered an artisan miller using 200-year-old Syrian Stones to pulverize tiny sesame seeds into Tahini.
This was no ordinary Tahini, nor was the manufacturing process that made it. Mark tasted a velvety smooth and delicious elixir that oozed directly from these stones. Learning about the enormous health benefits derived from Tahini- he was driven to create a line of products that would showcase this superfood on its own and in varieties of products like hummus and halva and more. Mark coined his future brand “Halvana” – an intersection of the words “Halva” and “Nirvana”.
Another fact was quickly cultivated. Tahini milled in such an artisanal manner was shelf stable-it simply didn’t require refrigeration-and could be enjoyed without fuss and easily incorporated as part of a healthy lifestyle. Creating a line of products that were 100% natural, intensely flavourful without worry of expiry or immanent spoiling -became a critical feature of the Halvana brand.
Mark’s long-time friend of 38 years, Izzy Sagi, became a perfect partner for Halvana- most notably because of the food traditions found his Iraqi heritage. Izzy identifies food currents throughout the Middle East, engages with artisanal manufactures, and is tasked to bring the amazing flavours and taste profiles to our discerning mass markets.
Halvana was born in Toronto and became a very big hit- connecting an intensely flavourful product line with the diverse peoples, tastes and food cultures that make up this great city.
Halvana is positioned for the next level of growth to become a global food brand. Next level growth is fueled by a national distribution agreement with UNFI Canada, funding provided by HWC Capital and a diverse and experienced investment and advisory board with senior industry executives in craft brewery, CPG, food and technology.