The Snack Society Founder Kamilla Omarzay Shares Her Recipe For Success

12 min read
The Snack Society Kamilla Omarzay

The Snack Society Founder Kamilla Omarzay is making waves with her innovative approach to both life and cooking

Even just a few years ago, the term ‘healthy treat’ was a bit of an oxymoron in the UAE, with the culture favouring rich, dense dishes crafted for sharing over long meals with family and friends. Yet fast-forward to 2021 and there’s a wave of (often) vegan entrepreneurs whipping up tasty treats that substitute sugar and all of those other nasties with everything from dates, nuts and chia seeds to agave and berries to create healthier versions of our favourite snacks without compromising on taste. And leading the way is 36-year-old Afghani Kamilla Omarzay.

Raised in Dubai, by day Kamilla may work as a leasing manager for a leading shopping mall, but at night her attention falls to food, and her wholesome online platform, The Snack Society. It’s here that Kamilla shares her love of nourishing and nutritious food to her loyal Instagram followers, which currently sit at 26.8k and counting. “It really represents my love for food,” Kamilla tells MOJEH. “I love food, it is life! I have had to develop a really healthy relationship with food over the last few years and it’s so incredible.”

Coming from humble beginnings, Kamilla’s family were forced to flee her native Afghanistan after the Russian invasion destroyed their home when she was just three years old. Building a new life in Dubai, Kamilla has always been inspired by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit, and today is one of the most successful culinary forces in the UAE. Yet other than eating it, she admits she had no experience in the food industry prior to starting The Snack Society – instead, it was losing her job in 2016 that was the catalyst that Kamilla, who suffers from a long list of digestive issues and was “pretty much intolerant to everything”, needed to launch her passion project. “I started it as I had to cut out gluten, dairy, eggs and sugar from my diet, and I found it challenging to find good, delicious, free-from treats and snacks in the market,” she explains. “Instead, I started making them at home, shared my passion on social media, and it took off from there.”

Hailing from Afghanistan, Kamilla was never short of a good meal growing up, yet surprisingly (or not), her everyday food choices are no longer inspired by her culture’s culinary preferences, which she describes as oily, spicy and caloriedense. “If you know Afghans, you know our culture revolves around food, food and more food,” she says. “Growing up, we always had delicious meals prepared and never skipped one.” Now allowing herself the odd indulgence – “I still enjoy food, but I make healthy choices 80 per cent of the time, allowing 20 per cent of indulgence,” she says – you’re more likely to find her snacking on her own curated recipes, such as hearty gluten-free, dairy-free eggless pancakes topped with date syrup, agave-sweetened ice cream, chocolate orange brownies, or activated charcoal oat bowls designed to trap toxic substances in the gut and prevent their absorption into the body. You’ll find all of these and then some on her Instagram page, which is an eclectic hub of beautiful images and content creation, something Kamilla has a love/hate relationship with. “It requires time editing, captions and the right tags – it’s a lot of work!” she says. “But it’s so rewarding to see people make my recipes and enjoy them.” So what’s next in the pipeline for The Snack Society? “A cookbook!” exclaims Kamilla. “It’s so hard to get a publishing deal with an international book publisher, but I’ve got calls scheduled, so watch this space.” We sure will.

A Day In The Life Of Kamilla Omarzay

I wake up at… I’m an early riser, so I’m up at 6am.

My morning routine consists of… Meditation and journaling for 30 minutes, then breakfast and gym before I start work.

My typical day… I’m boring in the way that it’s the same for me every day, apart from weekends. Wake up, meditate, journal, start work by 9am, finish work by 6pm, dinner, chill with family, call it a night by 10pm!

My go-to working wardrobe consists of… Right now working from home, it’s all been about activewear and loungewear.

My go-to beauty looks for the 9-5 look like… A dab of concealer, eyeliner, mascara and blush, all finished off with a slick of gloss.

For lunch, I eat… I’m currently on a meal plan, so my lunch consists of 100g chicken, 150g potatoes and a side of greens.

What I love most about my job is… The people I work with and the flexibility.

And what I enjoy the least is… Encountering arrogant, ungenuine, fake and entitled people.

When I get home, I… Go straight to the kitchen!

When I feel stressed, I… Meditate or go for a deep tissue massage.

If I wasn’t in my current position… I would go to a retreat and get some alone time.

Follow Kamilla at @thesnacksociety, available on Deliveroo.

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  • Photography by Ausra Osipaviciute
  • Words by Naomi Chadderton
  • Styling by Sophia Serin