HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — A Harlem couple is enjoying the sweet success of their new honey business.
It all began with the difficulties they encountered when closing their restaurant in Harlem. Barcha, formerly on 115th Street, is where they put all their hopes and savings into, chasing their American dream.
But another door opened after they had to close their restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been more than a year since Gloribelle Perez and Walid Mrabet shut down their beloved restaurant. They now find inspiration from what once made them cry.
A popular family recipe was perfected in their restaurant and customers still asked about it even after Barcha closed, so they decided to bottle it — giving what could have been a sad story a sweet twist. It’s called Harissa Hot Honey.
The couple’s home is now their “honey headquarters.” They launched their honey business on Valentine’s Day and are already flooded with orders from West Hollywood to Portland, Maine.
The hot honey is infused with spices. It’s a North African recipe called Harissa. Married for 12 years, Perez is from the Dominican Republic and Mrabet is from Tunisia.
They said the real secret ingredients to their success are culture, community, and love. Their message: Sometimes you have to take the heat to get to the sweet to make it happen.
Now, they are going to be one of the businesses at an outdoor market on the Upper West Side.