Javaneh Hemmat

Hummus Chick
Mesa Komal Kitchen - 2195 Nolensville Pike
Nashville, TN 37211
615-294-3458

Javaneh Hemmat was born to Persian parents living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1978, when the UAE was only six years old. Java’s earliest memories recall a barren desert with just the smooth rise and dip of sand dunes. But she also remembers diversity among those who lived in the country from places throughout Europe and Africa, and her parents traveled frequently exposing her to new places. When it came time for college, an interest in American pop culture led her to Middle Tennessee State University in 1998.

She didn’t find the foods of her upbringing – eggplant stews, saffron pudding and hummus. She did her best to avoid fast and cafeteria food, and learned to cook, drawing from a Persian cookbook from her mother. She developed the seed of a food business reflecting her native country’s culture, and it drew her back to her roots. In 2012, after a layoff from her corporate job and with degrees in both business management and chemistry, she started Hummus Chick with just thirty-five dollars in her pocket. The company continues to grow out of Mesa Komal, the commissary kitchen at Casa Azafran community center on Nolensville Pike.

Date of interview:

February 15, 2016

Interviewer:

Jennifer Justus

Photographer:

Emily B. Hall


Now that I look back I’m thinking to myself, ‘What a courageous person I was!’ I was totally on my own. So the first day of school I went to this orientation class [for] international students, and so there were students from China, Japan, Nicaragua. I remember the program director walked in with a big box of Krispy Kreme. She opened it and said, ‘Welcome to America!’

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