Name of entrepreneurs: Moussa Alla and Marouan Sawaid
Place of residence: Acre
Name of business: Almarsa – A Chef Restaurant
Type of investment: Renovation and upgrading of the restaurant
Location: The port of Old Acre
Moussa and Marouan are childhood friends who have always dreamed of opening a restaurant together.
Moussa started out as a restaurant dishwasher when he was 16, working his way up to cooking jobs and then, after taking a culinary course, to sous-chef at a number of gourmet restaurants across Israel.
After several years as a sous-chef, he left for Sweden where he worked as a cook for four years at Michelin-starred restaurants.
Marouan has rich experience in managing the front end of restaurants. He began working as a waiter, and worked as the shift manager at several gourmet restaurants.
After many years earning experience, Moussa and Marouan decided to combine their knowledge, each in their respective fields, and open a restaurant together.
ABOUT THE BUSINESS:
Almarsa opened in June of 2012 in a historic Crusader building erected in 1210, and later used by the Ottoman empire as a customs building. Before Almarsa came along, the building had been extremely dilapidated, but after extensive renovations it looks brand new, and contains spaces that afford privacy for large and small groups alike.
The restaurant offers a breathtaking view of Old Acre: the marina with its moored fishing boats, the fishermen filling their nets with all sorts of goods, and the beautiful walls of the Old City.
The restaurant was designed to high standards. It has 100 seats and a well-stocked spirits and wine bar. In addition to the owners, the restaurant has about 10 employees.
Unlike other restaurants in the area that offer only Eastern food, Almarsa offers a diverse menu that incorporates authentic Eastern cuisine with a variety of flavors from around the world.
Since Moussa, the head chef, is also an owner, Almarsa invests greatly in the level of service, quality of dishes, and customer satisfaction.
Moussa and Marouan would like to thank the Western Galilee Consortium, and note that the loan they’ve received from the Western Galilee Loan Fund facilitated the establishment of the restaurant and the creation of a dozen jobs in Israel.