mera kitchen collective is a worker-owned cooperative. our business is rooted in the values of equity, solidarity, empowerment, and community.
Liliane comes to Mera Kitchen from Cameroon. She specializes in traditional Cameroonian dishes like tripe stew, spicy peanut sauce, beignets and her famous "directeur general" or DG as they call it in Cameroon.
Liliane received her MBA in Management from the European University in Cyprus and her Masters in Management in Developing Countries from the University of Paris Dauphine. She's a 2017-2018 Baltimore Corps Elevation Grant Awardee.
Whe she's not cooking, she teaches English as a second language, and runs around with her two, soon to be three, adorable children. Liliane is also an expert in "power posing" and loves to eat.
Iman arrived in Baltimore on December 1, 2016 after she was told she could come to America from Jordan, where she was staying after fleeing her home country of Syria. Before the war made living her life in Syria impossible, Iman worked for years at the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus. There, she specialized in traditional Syrian food made with both love and expert precision.
While Iman arrived in America as a widow with no family to accompany her, her warm and generous spirit has drawn in many friends. Her love for food is apparent - she cooks even the most simple dishes with love and care.
Iman's goal is to own her own restaurant and she remains excited about the opportunities available for female entrepreneurs here in Baltimore.
Aisha is an immigrant from Kuwait. She engages with Baltimore’s refugee community as a mentor and interpreter. She feels fortunate to be invited to these people’s stories, seeing glimpses of their journeys to America and views on their current situation.
She believes stories are powerful in understanding the past and changing the future narrative around our newest neighbors. Aisha serves as Community Outreach and Interpreter Coordinator at Mera.
Aisha provides the vital link to refugee and immigrant community, ensuring that at every step of the way, Mera’s decisions reflect the actual needs of the community it serves.
Emily came to Baltimore after working in the field with Doctors Without Borders. She brings over 8 years of experience in refugee and emergency contexts, including Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Haiti. She has seen the benefits of interventions that emphasize empowerment and self-determination and how they can build and sustain equitable communities.
Emily loves Baltimore and believes that we can find creative solutions to problems by working to promote ownership and equity, instead of traditional top-down systems of aid. With Mera, she is responsible for operations, finance, partnership and development.
She loves to eat and goes crazy for Chef Iman's rolled eggplant and Liliane's beignets.
Brittany started working with the refugee community in Baltimore in 2013, when she began her position as the volunteer coordinator for the Baltimore City Community College Refugee Youth Project. Part of her duties involved coordinating mentors for refugee children and families, which is how she met many mothers who wanted sustainable work and to build community but were limited by childcare, transportation, and language barriers. Over and over again, Brittany was invited to sit, eat, have tea, and stay a while; their generosity and kindness inspired her to seek a market-based solution to share their talents with the wider Baltimore community (especially because she was homesick for her own Taiwanese mother's cooking!).
Brittany is currently working on her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Baltimore. She now has the honor of being the Program Coordinator for the Refugee Youth Project, and in her spare time she's building her portfolio as a self-taught calligrapher and handlettering artist at Novel Letter Studio. At Mera, Brittany helps coordinate volunteers, lends a helping hand (and car) to the farmers market operations, and makes signage for menus and events.