Asali Specialty Bakery
Hailing from entrepreneurial families, Hanadi and Jamaal had always dreamed of owning their own business. While attending N.C. State, they often found themselves studying, relaxing, and socializing in nearby coffee shops, so much so that the ambitious couple considered opening a shop of their own. But, as they researched and discussed the possibilities, they discovered a shared passion for something much sweeter – pastries.
Jamaal’s mother, a master at baking delicious Mediterranean treats, graciously shared her secret family recipes with the two, and Hanadi and Jamaal got to work in the kitchen. As they shared their desserts with friends and family, the requests for orders began to roll in. While brainstorming names for their new venture, Hanadi and Jamaal combined their last names, Asad and Ali, to form "Asali." They quickly discovered that Asali is also the word for “sweets” and “honey” in both Arabic and Persian. The couple took this happy coincidence as a sign of good luck and, seeing an opportunity to seize their dream, Asali Desserts was officially founded in 2001.
In 2015, after nearly 20 years working full-time in the pharmaceutical industry, Hanadi decided to dive into her true passion full-time. With the help and support of their five children, the family has embraced an "all hands on deck" attitude; you will often find their children helping them at the farmers markets.
Since Asali's early beginnings, Hanadi and Jamaal have expanded the business to include specialty cakes and event services. Asali Events & Desserts has provided their services and sweets to countless events of all sizes throughout the Triangle. They have been honored to help families celebrate birthdays, bar- and bat-mitzvahs, quinceaneras, anniversaries, wedding ceremonies and receptions, and mehndis, to name a few. Their cakes have also won several local awards at the Raleigh State Farmers Market and the Midtown Farmers Market.
Hanadi and Jamaal are proud N.C. State graduates. (Go Pack!) They live with their five beautiful children near downtown Apex, North Carolina. With such a busy work schedule, the couple does not have the time they’d like to devote to traveling the world. However, they both have a lot of family they are blessed to have near and so, they visit them as often as possible, which means the world to them.