Step into the world of culinary inspiration and empowerment as we embark on an extraordinary journey with the visionary entrepreneur, Fatima AlAteeqi. Meet the creative force behind the remarkable brand Hand of Fatima, a tale that weaves together health, heritage, and a passion for sustainable practices. Join us as we delve into Fatima’s personal story, where adversity transformed into opportunity, and a serendipitous journey through the sunny Greek islands ignited a remarkable five-year odyssey.

From her earliest years, Fatima grappled with health complications, leading her to embrace resilience and acceptance as integral parts of her daily life. However, a life-altering surgery eight years ago would forever alter her relationship with food and unveil the secrets of the Mediterranean diet. As the sun-kissed shores of Greece embraced her, an enchanting culinary discovery awaited, unveiling the heart of her future venture.

Inspired by her Middle Eastern and Mediterranean upbringing, Fatima’s brand, Hand of Fatima, reflects a profound connection to her roots. A symbol of good fortune, blessings, and protection in these cultures, the Hand of Fatima became not just the name of her brand but a beacon of her identity.

With a strong emphasis on community and family values, Fatima shares her belief in the transformative power of shared moments around the table. The essence of Hand of Fatima emerges from these cherished experiences, where laughter, love, and flavours intertwine to create lasting memories.

As we venture further into the interview, we unravel the meticulous process of creating each Hand of Fatima product. From testing the finest olive oils to seeking out high-quality, locally sourced ingredients, Fatima’s commitment to perfection shines through. With an unwavering determination to produce with care, seal with pride, and deal with love, the Hand of Fatima brand stands as a testament to her vision.

Fatima’s journey has not been without its challenges. As a founder, she faced trade and logistical obstacles, especially in the post-Brexit landscape. Yet, her adaptability and dedication to quality have been instrumental in overcoming these hurdles and maintaining her commitment to sustainability.

Through Hand of Fatima, Fatima envisions a future where businesses in the food industry prioritise sustainability, environmental consciousness, and support for local communities. With every bottle, she hopes to inspire others to cherish and sustain the environment that nourishes us all.

Join us in this captivating interview with Fatima AlAteeqi, a trailblazing entrepreneur whose love for her heritage, passion for culinary excellence, and devotion to a better world have coalesced into a brand that transcends borders. Discover the transformative power of resilience, community, and the Hand of Fatima as we embark on this inspiring journey together…

What inspired you to create Hand of Fatima, and how does it reflect your personal journey and aspirations?

From a young age, I have struggled with health complications, particularly related to my gut. Despite numerous diagnoses and treatments, nothing seemed to provide significant relief. As a result, I learned to live with these challenges, integrating them into my daily life. However, eight years ago, I underwent a complex surgery that completely changed my diet, lifestyle, and relationship with food. During my recovery, I decided to take a break and explore the sunny Greek islands. Little did I know that this trip would be transformative and lead me to where I am today.

Throughout my time in Greece, I gradually began feeling better, experiencing improved energy levels and overall happiness. It was during this journey that I discovered the Mediterranean diet, particularly the central role of olive oil, which significantly contributed to my well-being. This realisation sparked my five-year journey to create something meaningful. I wanted to develop a product that would not only reflect my identity, background, and story but also be a testament to who I aspire to become.

Could you share some insights into the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences that shape the essence of Hand of Fatima?

Growing up, my family emphasized the importance of community, a value that was instilled in me through my mother’s guidance. My grandmother and mother always brought our family together, especially during meal times. I have fond memories of gatherings with around 15 people, filled with delicious food, laughter, and love. This sense of community is deeply ingrained in my upbringing.

During my research in Greece, I noticed that Mediterranean communities share a similar principle, valuing family and collective bonds. Through my interactions with locals, I made a dear friend named Irini. Our relationship grew to the point where she became like family to me. This reinforced the significance of community in Mediterranean cultures.

The Hand of Fatima symbol holds great importance in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures, representing good fortune, blessings, protection, and good health. This symbol is commonly found in homes, including baby cribs, main rooms, kitchens, and doorways. When deciding on a name for my brand, I received a gift from a hotel owner in Crete—a silver necklace featuring the Hand of Fatima symbol. Inspired by this gesture and wanting to make my mother proud, I chose to name the brand after the symbol, which interestingly is my given name.

The blue, white, and brown shades of our bottles pay homage to Greece and the Venetian and Ottoman influences on Crete. Additionally, the geometric pattern of the symbol represents my proud Middle Eastern heritage.

How has your family and their support played a role in shaping Hand of Fatima?

My family, especially my mother, has been a significant influence on my journey as an entrepreneur. As the eldest of five children, I grew up admiring my mother’s strength and ability to balance work, raising children, and caring for her family—all while being beloved and admired by everyone she encountered. As I matured, I recognized her unwavering faith, her radiant smile, and her determination to overcome any challenge with the motto “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” My parents’ support and guidance have been instrumental in shaping who I am today.

Now, as a mother myself, my two-year-old son is my driving force and motivation. His love guides every decision I make, and I cannot imagine navigating this project without him at the center of everything I do.

Can you share some stories or experiences from your travels to Crete that have influenced your brand’s development?

My experiences living among the locals in Crete provided me with valuable insights into the Mediterranean lifestyle beyond just its culinary aspects. I learned that the Mediterranean Diet isn’t merely about the food but encompasses the entire way of life.

The locals practice sustainability by walking whenever possible and cherishing their food, aiming not to waste any part of it but instead sharing it generously. Additionally, their passion and pride in olive oil production left a profound impact on me. Olive oil is deeply rooted in Cretan cuisine, becoming a tradition that is proudly passed down through generations.

Can you describe the process of creating a new product for Hand of Fatima, from concept to final production?

The process of creating a new product for Hand of Fatima begins with testing the olive oil for its taste and acidity level. We send the samples to a lab to check the percentage and grade levels. For infused flavors, we carefully select high-quality ingredients from local suppliers, avoiding the use of artificial essences. Our goal is to strike the perfect balance where the flavours complement the olive oil without overpowering it or vice versa.

We conduct multiple trials to refine the product, and after a few weeks of letting it sit, we perform a final evaluation. Only when we achieve perfection do we move forward with production. Our brand ethos is “produced with care, sealed with pride, and dealt with love,” and we hold ourselves to these values throughout the product development process.

What challenges have you faced as a founder, and how have you overcome them while building Hand of Fatima?

As a founder, I have encountered various challenges, but perhaps the most significant has been related to trade and logistics, particularly post-Brexit. The changes in timeframe, paperwork, taxes, and prices for goods coming from or going to the EU have posed considerable difficulties. Elements such as fuel surcharge, duties and taxes, and ingredient sourcing have become more complex.

To overcome these challenges, I have focused on streamlining processes while adhering to all legal requirements. It has been essential to stay informed and be patient, allowing the business to adapt to the changing landscape while maintaining our commitment to quality and sustainability.

Are there any exciting new projects or collaborations in the pipeline for Hand of Fatima that you can share with us?

Yes, we have an exciting new project in the pipeline that is currently in the final stages of development. While I can’t disclose all the details, I can say that it will appeal to markets such as hospitality, leisure, travel, and events. Additionally, we are preparing to launch a new infused flavor that I am particularly enthusiastic about.

How do you envision Hand of Fatima contributing to the future of the food industry and promoting sustainable practices?

At Hand of Fatima, we are committed to leading by example in the food industry by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness. Our dedication to using sustainable and recyclable packaging sets a precedent for other businesses to follow suit. Moreover, we allocate a portion of our annual profits to support local farmers, helping to sustain their lands and livelihoods. We hope to inspire other companies to do the same, supporting environmental charities and low-wage laborers who contribute to the food industry.

Our readers love to travel; what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

While there are many places I would love to explore, Japan has always been at the top of my bucket list for many years. The unique blend of historical traditions intertwined with modern life intrigues me. Their discipline, dedication, and culinary artistry are inspiring, and I am drawn to the beauty of their gardens, shrines, and historical towns, which exude a sense of zen.

Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own ventures in the food industry?

If you are passionate about creating a business in the food industry, I encourage you to dive in headfirst and pursue your dream with unwavering determination. Expect criticism and challenges along the way, but don’t let them deter you. Your confidence will be your greatest asset and capital. Stay focused, be patient, and allow your venture to come together organically. Remember that every success takes time, and with perseverance and dedication, you can achieve greatness in the food industry.

Visit to follow their incredible journey.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

Comments are closed.