the overdue update

Sep 25

Hello everyone!

I had promised myself to keep our blog updated when we started working on our business three years ago. I had even prepared a handy list of blog post topics and often wondered why businesses had the page up if they never bothered to update it.

I am now guilty of being that business. So here I am redeeming myself!

Somewhere in the midst of all the working, pizza-making, bread-making, looking after kids, moving, growing, posting….I forgot to pay any attention to our poor old blog page.

So here is a quick update on all that’s been going on in the WTC bubble! This is based on frequent questions we get asked and things we feel are important to share with all our dear friends and audience.

So here goes! (You can click on some of the titles to learn more)

50 Top Pizza World’s Best Ranking and Special Award

photos by Alessandra Farinelli for 50 Top Pizza

This is by far the biggest most important award we have ever received across our whole career!

Earlier this September, we were invited to the award ceremony of the world’s best 100 pizzerias in Naples, Italy by 50 Top Pizza, the chief Italian guide on the best pizzerias across the world. The awards celebrate pizzas of all styles, from the Neapolitan to the American, with secret inspectors sent across the world to hand-pick the best pizzerias in every continent or region. We were therefore thrilled to find out that we were the ONLY pizzeria in Africa and the Middle East on the list, and were honoured to be the recipients of a special award, “Pioneer in field”, for being the first and only AVPN pizzeria in Africa and for our efforts to popularize the traditions of the Neapolitan pizza across the MENA region. I honestly still can’t wrap my head around what happened! The whole trip and the whole night were so surreal - the ceremony took place in the King’s Theatre at the Palazzo Reale di Napoli, something we probably would never had the chance to see if it wasn’t for this amazing event, and it was absolutely magical. We met some of my pizza chef idols, like Enzo Coccia, Ciro Salvo, Gino Sorbillo… these are pizza chefs whose videos I watched tirelessly and whose books I keep in my office for every reference! I couldn’t believe WTC was listed alongside these pizza superstars. And I still can’t believe that WTC is one of ONLY TWO pizzerias on the whole list who are headed by women pizza chefs! That means women pizza chefs are severely underrepresented in the worldwide pizza scene at only 2%! At the same time, I am deeply proud and touched to be the only Arab on that list, and more importantly, to be the only Arab woman!

I also met the head pizza chef from Ken’s Artisan Pizzeria in Portland, Vincent Krone. It was such a special moment for me. Ken Forkish is the author of “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast” - which is the magical book that got me started with baking bread years ago when I was still pregnant with my first child in Canada. It was the first time I had followed bread recipes for home-baking that ACTUALLY worked, and Ken Forkish had a set of YouTube videos to teach the methods he explains in his book, for those of us who are more visually-driven. Ken Forkish is responsible for sparking my years-long passion and obsession with bread and pizza, which ultimately led us to this accomplishment, wearing the same chef’s jacket as my idols, standing side by side on the global stage. This is all thanks to his wonderful book, which I couldn’t more strongly recommend for any beginning baker. It was an absolute pleasure to meet Vincent and to get to the chance to tell him this in person. We then spent the night mingling with literally the other 99 best pizza chefs in the world at the afterparty, which is a night we will definitely never forget.

Truly, 50 Top Pizza has made our dreams come true! We are officially the BEST PIZZERIA IN AFRICA, the BEST PIZZERIA IN THE ARAB WORLD AND MIDDLE EAST, TOP 10 NEAPOLITAN PIZZA OUTSIDE ITALY, and THE ONLY ARAB WOMAN PIZZA CHEF on that list IN THE WORLD! AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! Thank you infinitely!

We have a Press Pack from 50 Top Pizza about the world ranking and ceremony, which we would be happy to share to any regional or international media publication. Please get in touch with us through


Napeo are our operator/owner partners in the greater Cairo region. When Helmy and I tried to figure out how we could grow, we knew it would be impossible for us to have the financial and physical means to do so in any reasonable timeframe. We also felt that we had to find a way to replicate our model out to partners who reflected a similar set of business skills as Helmy and I possess. One had to be passionate about good food, and the other had to be experienced in business. We were therefore so happy to have met Omar Azab and Yassine Shokeir through common friends. They were already planning on launching their own pizza truck: Yassine was a passionate restauranteur who had trained in 1, 2 and 3-Michelin-starred restaurants; and Omar was a Hospitality Management Graduate from the Glion Institute in Switzerland, who already had extensive experience helping manage his family’s chain of 5-star hotels across Egypt. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better combo! Omar and Yassine represent our “by Napeo” signature and we are proud to be working with them for our common growth and expansion goals.


We are SO AMAZINGLY EXCITED to have taken a tremendous step towards sustainability by slowly transitioning into local cheese products over the last few weeks. A couple of months ago, we met with Italian cheesemakers in Egypt who had invested everything they had into perfecting the fresh Italian cheeses you can find abroad. They came with their fior di latte and buffalo mozzarella on hand, which we quickly tested and found to be absolutely amazing! We were so afraid about what we were going to do about the import restrictions placed upon us, and over the last few months, I must admit that even the Italian cheeses we were getting from abroad were becoming sub-par quality and getting so ridiculously expensive. It would have put us out of business, especially considering all our other ingredients were imported too and getting more and more expensive.The fior di latte they were producing locally was sooo much better than the one we were getting from Italy, and a lot more affordable, so the drive to switch over was natural and exciting. It means that we have created enough demand in the local food scene to warrant better care into producing quality ingredients, and the last few weeks testing with old and new customers has given us absolute confidence that you guys have loved it too! There are still cheeses that we get from Italy, like hard cheeses (Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino) and soft cheeses like Gorgonzola. But we can finally sleep at night knowing that we now have a steady supply of amazing fresh local Italian cheeses, made by Italian cheesemakers, with Italian machines, and owned by an Italian family in Egypt!! The AVPN has backed us up on this 100% and were also happy to hear about this local market development. It’s such an amazing sign.

This also means that we can protect our prices against the increasing cost of Italian flour and tomatoes, which we will still need to be using for the foreseeable future. You may not know this but it’s been very very difficult to keep using a consistent brand of Italian flour over the summer months. I have had to change our recipe at least three or four times, using new flours with different properties, but somehow managing to maintain our flavour and texture profile. Thank you for everyone who shares their honest feedback with us and who help us improve, even if and when we make mistakes. We are always reachable through instagram and by email and we promise to keep working on our service and product quality. Thank you for allowing us the chance to grow and make things better!

What is “The Daily Kneads”?

The Daily Kneads (TDK) is our new little venture, which should be launched soon at The Nox in the Fifth Settlement! We’ve been testing our breads in the market for well over a year and a half now, and are so happy to finally get the chance to make this aspect of our operation “official”! But it’s not going to be just bread. Of course, we wouldn’t be who we are if we didn’t include some yummy pizza on our menu! But is it Neapolitan? No, of course not! :-D

Stay tuned… dum dum dum!

What else is up?

We’ve had the privilege of lending our voice or opinion to many wonderful sources in the last few months, and you can learn more about our journey through the following links:

·Youssef Sabry Mindset Podcast/Interview

·World Bank Group: The Development Podcast

·Why is the world facing a food crisis?

We are forever grateful for the privilege we have been granted and are on a quest to forever reach new heights. We had small dreams when we started this pizzeria. Now we feel so empowered to go after bigger and bigger dreams!

Thank you all so much for tagging along on our journey, and until we “meet” again - keep the questions, comments, and feedback coming! We model our whole business and strategy around the honest feedback we receive on a daily basis. We are here to serve you and to act as a source of light and inspiration to Egypt on a local and global stage.

With lots of love,