Made in the Northwest: Victor Foods

SPOKANE, Wash. — To say Victor Azar is passionate about hummus would be an understatement.

“I keep working on a flavor until I am in love with it,” said the owner of Victor Foods. “So it does not go out into the wild until I am in love with it, okay?”

Victor started making hummus out of a kitchen in Airway Heights and putting it in local specialty stores years ago, as a way to advertise his catering business.

“What happened is that it just blew out of proportion. I mean, everybody wanted to have it and I just could not keep up in that kitchen by myself.”

So in 2013, Spokane Produce stepped into the picture and started a lasting relationship with Victor Foods.

“And they said, ‘We will make it for you. We will distribute it for you,'” explained Victor. “And we worked out a deal and the deal is we’re both happy with it.”

At Spokane Produce, Victor says the hummus starts with 100 lbs. of Garbanzo Beans being boiled for several hours, removing lectins in the foam along the way.

“We take out some of these anti-nutrients to make sure you benefit from the food.”

The beans are then placed in a blast chiller to take the temperature down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, it’s time to mix in the flavors. But there’s no scientific flavoring here. The Roasted Garlic Hummus comes from real roasted garlic. Same thing for the Basil Hummus.

“You saw how much basil goes into one batch. It’s all fresh. It’s all beautiful. I mean, it’s just the taste is very fresh,” Victor boasted.

Victor is proud that his hummus is smooth and not gritty.

“People like it a lot and we’ve been very successful with it.”

Victor Foods is coming out with new labels for its eight kinds of hummus, including the recently released Red Bell Pepper Hummus. It’s also started to make Jadra, a packaged lentil rice pilaf. And Victor is always thinking about new products.

“Maybe we can go into more a Keto(genic) kind of a hummus, where a lot of less carbs and no beans altogether.”

You can find Victor Foods in select Rosauer’s, Super 1 and Yoke’s stores, as well as specialty markets like Natural Grocers, Huckleberry’s and My Fresh Basket.

“It’s so nice to walk into a store and see somebody picking up my product,” said Victor. “It’s very gratifying. I know that they’re going to be happy.”

And soon, many more people could be happy with the hummus, as Victor says he’s looking to scale up production and sign with a distributor.

“I’d like to see it on the West Coast represented more heavily. That would be a nice first step.”

And maybe one day, it’ll go national.

“It’s becoming a very huge favorite in the United States, so it’ll be around.”