After Mojegan Sadeghian moved to Prince George in 2000 with her family, she began sharing her Persian cooking skills with friends by arranging social gatherings, offering cooking classes, and providing catering services. Later, when Mojegan brought Persian food to the weekly local farmers’ markets, it was a big hit. Most people had never tried Persian food before, but loved the delicious, homemade dishes cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients.
In 2011 Mojegan opened Zaffron Cuisine as a home-based catering business. Two years later her business outgrew her home and Zaffron Cuisine Persian Café and Catering opened in downtown Prince George, one of two Persian food restaurants in northern B.C. All food is prepared in Zaffron’s kitchen using traditional Persian spices, local seasonal produce and no preservatives.
“I’m happy to promote healthy eating at affordable prices. We offer a buffet style lunch and dinner that’s fresh and appealing to customers. My motto is delicious, healthy and affordable food”, says Mojegan.
Zaffron Cuisine Persian Café is part of an effort to revitalize Prince George by attracting more people downtown. “People are curious about our location in a small house close to a large mall. I have lots of returning customers and am satisfied to be part of the community”, adds Mojegan.
Zaffron Cuisine has grown from one employee to three and has trained a cook. Mojegan continues to maintain quality control over the recipes and food sampling to make sure it’s just right. “I want to offer high-quality food and stay small to maintain quality,” she emphasizes.
Even with the around the clock demands of running a café, Mojegan still finds the time and energy to offer cooking classes and catering for larger groups. Her most popular dish is Ghalieh Chicken, a traditional Persian recipe using cilantro.
She has this advice for anyone thinking of starting a business: “Be ready for it, it has to fit your lifestyle. It was very tough for me to run a restaurant when my kids were younger. Have back-up and financing plans at the beginning. It’s hard to make money in the first year or two, especially in the restaurant business. It’s hard work and you have to love it and earn people’s trust.”