Waterford couple moved home from Middle East to set up their own food business

Making Food and Drink the Waterford Way

Waterford’s Nicola Crowley and her husband Dvir Nusery moved back to Ireland from the Middle East to explore their love for food. 

After meeting and falling in love while backpacking across the world, they built a home in the Middle East and stayed there for eight happy years. Then, in 2015, they heard Ireland’s call and decided to start a new adventure in the sunny south east.

“We were leaving a wonderful community, two good jobs and bringing two children with us so we had to quickly decide how we were going to make a living,” Nicola says.

“On one hand there was the pressure of trying to start a new career, but on the other there was a fantastic new opportunity to do something that we love.

Nicola and Dvir decided to follow their passion and set up their own business called Mezze. “Our passion for food started just by cooking for our friends. We love hosting friends and family, making food from scratch and using natural ingredients, so it was an obvious choice to make,” Dvir explains.

They started small with a little market at the Waterford Harvest Festival and were blown away by the response from the public. “We set up on John Roberts Square and I was blown away by the response and interaction with Waterford people. We enjoyed it so much that we couldn’t wait to spread our wings,” Dvir continues.

Next up for Mezze (meaning small dishes) was markets in Lismore and Dungarvan where they quickly discovered just how popular their food was. Initially, they were sticking by their with small dips and salads, but soon they expanded and moved into the retail market with their Lavash Flatbreads, which are now available in over 80 stores nationwide.

“We were experimenting with different flavours based upon our time in the Middle East and in Ireland. Marie Power, the Sea Gardener, brought us seaweed foraging one day and suddenly we had a brand new ingredient to work with,” Nicola explains.

Waterford’s Nicola Crowley and her husband Dvir Nusery are proud of the success of Mezze. 

Mezze use as many local ingredients as possible to complement their Middle Eastern flavours, such as Grantstown tomatoes, Ardkeen Foodstores, Ballybeg Greens and Coffee House Lane, who provide the beans for Mezze’s Turkish coffee. “For us, Food the Waterford Way is all about sustainability. Why have tomatoes that come all the way from Spain when you can have superior ones right here? We are always looking at our menus to see how we can incorporate the incredible local ingredients that we have on our doorstep, with the exotic Middle Eastern flavours that we know and love,” Dvir highlights.

What motivates you?

“We absolutely love the food and we love hearing people’s positive feedback. Vegans and vegetarians especially seek us out, and it’s so humbling and inspiring to know how much they enjoy our food,” Nicola says.

What do you think of the food industry today?

“Definitely getting better. The change, in the last ten years especially, has been unbelievable. Things like craft beer and artisan foods are everywhere and it’s so encouraging for us. Irish people are starting to embrace this new, natural style of food production,” Dvir says.

What next for Mezze?

“We hope to expand the business as much as possible within our means. We will continue doing festivals and pop up restaurants but will definitely endeavour to expand our retail range, so you will be seeing a lot more Mezze products on the shelves of your local shop or supermarket,” Nicola adds.

Food the Waterford Way is a new initiative funded by Waterford City and County Council, highlighting all the great local food and producers in Waterford. See more online

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