Shorkk is a small, socially-minded business based in Bristol, with roots in Scotland and Lebanon, run by Miranda and Philippe el Khazen.
We’re about putting premium, ethically-traded Lebanese ingredients into UK kitchen cupboards. Extra virgin olive oil, “souri” olives and olive leaf infusion from the north of Lebanon. Tangy pomegranate molasses from Chekka and jewel-like saffron from the Bekaa Valley. We hope to connect with people who, like us, care about what they cook and where it comes from. We’re proud to be supporting local food producers in Lebanon.
This initiative is our response to the economic crisis which has hit Lebanon since October 2019. Our daughter has shown us how positive a dual heritage can be through her imaginative artwork which we’ve used on our website. Our son delivered a passionate address to his school to raise money for Impact Lebanon following the port blast in Beirut on 4th August 2020.
With our strong ties to Lebanon, we decided to do something positive. We know how popular Lebanese food is in the UK, and we think it is only right that more people know how good Lebanese ingredients are!
shorkk: bringing you the best from Lebanon.
What does shorkk mean?
Coming up with a name for our company encouraged us to draw on our dual heritage. Thistles grow in Lebanon and in Scotland, looking reassuringly familiar in both countries. They push defiantly through stony ground with magnificent grandeur. For us, these splendid plants symbolise the Lebanese food producing community. During the crisis the country has been enduring since October 2019, they have received no state support. They have been left to their own devices, and yet continue to produce amazing ingredients which tap into a food tradition with a noble history. So we started with the image of a thistle.
Unfortunately the Arabic word for thistle, شوك, is not easy to transcribe into English phonetics, no matter what combination of vowels and consonants we used – shawk – shauk – shauwk – shouwk. Each one evaded the true pronunciation of the word for English speakers. So, we decided to fuse the first consonant sound sh with an English word, fork, and got shorkk.
It was a perfect fit – particularly as the Arabic word for fork, شوكي showkey, comes from the Arabic word for thistle, شوك showk.
The image above illustrates the origins of our name better than any wordy explanation. It was drawn by Zelfa el Khazen, as are all of our drawings!