Made in the Northwest: Victor Foods
SPOKANE, Wash. — Victor Azar is a well known figure in the Spokane food scene. But nine years ago, when the recession hit, he started making and selling hummus, partly because he didn’t want to lay off his employees.
“I went to Huckleberry’s and Rosauers and I said, ‘Hey, I have this product.’ And they were gracious enough to carry it and i was able to keep my employees,” said Azar.
But by Dec. 2013, Azar could no longer keep up with demand. That’s when Spokane Produce in Airway Heights came into the picture.
“Spokane Produce was gracious enough to say yes and help me scale up the recipes for their equipment and we moved on,” explained Azar.
And just like that, Victor’s Hummus started being made on a much larger scale. Azar went from selling exclusively in Spokane, at places like Huckleberry’s on the South Hill, to selling fresh in five states and military bases across the Northwest.
“There’s five grocery chains that have picked it up and we’re expanding,” said Azar. “Still expanding.”
Azar was born in Jordan, so making sure Spokane Produce makes his hummus just like his mother’s homemade recipe is extremely important.
“How we make it is by soaking the beans well overnight and throwing away that water. And then cooking correctly for a long time.”
Cooking the Garbanzo beans is actually a three day process. But Azar believes it’s worth it and says removing foam from the cooking water helps remove lectins in the beans.
“Many customers tell me when they eat my hummus, versus other brands, they feel good,” Azar told KXLY. “I mean, they feel good in their stomach.”
The hummus is made from real ingredients. There’s no color added to its caramelized onions. Its garlic is roasted just right. And it’s also low in calories.
“We’re at 40 calories for two tablespoons, versus anywhere from 60 to 100 with other brands,” explained Azar. “And that is because we don’t add any fillers.”
The hummus comes in several different flavors, including Jalapeño and Chocolate H’Mousse, which Azar says goes great with fruits.
“It tastes like mousse, but it’s made from garbanzos.”
He’s also making jadra and falafel now as well.
“I figured out how to make it taste like deep fried falafel, but as a spread,” said Azar. “Ready to eat. Right out of the package.”
Azar plans not only to add more products, but to get them into the I-5 corridor in the very near future.
“Sky is the limit, right?”
With Spokane Produce’s help, he may be right.
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