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Our Story

Shams was first founded in December 2000 as a small shop selling handmade pots and plants by Maha Dahmash, an avid self-taught gardener and florist. Over the course of twenty years, this family business has grown with the help of her husband, son and daughter into Shams El Balad today, a lifestyle brand built around simplicity and sustainability in food and dining, through food and beverage outlets, original content and recipes on our website's journal, an online design shop and grocery, event venue and design service provider.

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Key to our success is our culture of learning, and the people on our team who embody it. We are a workplace defined by our openness and acceptance. Our team represents the diverse array of backgrounds and experiences that have and will always continue to shape our city. We alway challenge each other to think critically, asking why and not only how. Whether it be laying the table, decorating the ceiling or making the tastiest Za’atar, we encourage everyone on our team to contribute, ask questions and improve everyday. Our duty is to provide every member of our team with the knowledge needed to excel and the confidence to do it with pride, in order for each to add their own unique value to the products and experiences we provide our guests.

In July 2019, we conducted a company wide brainstorm to take on the task of refining our values. This took the form of both group and individual sessions with each of our 60 plus team members. As a result of this collaborative effort, we produced a new set of values that reflect the ambitions of our young team. These four tenets guide the way as we work and grow together.


1. Sustainability

The sun is a regenerative and sustainable source of energy. Similarly, we are focussed on reducing our impact on the environment, promoting sustainable practice and being as locally self-sufficient as possible.

2. Acceptance and trust

We are an open and accepting community. We respect people of all beliefs, races, sexualities and disabilities and we are proud of this diversity. Shams is a place where anyone can feel safe.

3. Continuous Learning

We believe that learning is a lifelong process that allows us to widen our perspectives, be critical of ourselves and create value to others by sharing our knowledge. The more diverse our community, the more diverse our knowledge.

4. Uncompromising Innovation

We are unapologetic in creating the future that we believe is needed, not the one that is given to us. We never compromise on quality or pushing the creative boundary.

Whether you're looking to ask a question about one of our products or services, or you think you'd be a good fit for our team or anything in between we would love to hear from you. Send us a message below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.


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