I have interviewed Samer Toutounji, the founder of Eshmoon Holistics to try and understand what motivated him into venturing into the organic and holistic field.
What is Eshmoon Holistics?
Eshmoon is born from a strong yearning to come back to the roots and restore the balance that we lost as a society, so I combined my knowledge expertise and aspirations into a holistic concept that I chose to name after the name of an ancient lost mythological figure that represents the healing powers in nature.
In eshmoon, there is a concept and a cause behind the name, I call it a philosophy, for this reason the slogan of the eshmoon products is ” the secret is not in the recipe but in the philosophy behind it”.
Eshmoon as a company believes in the values of the new born man and seeks to address this newly emerging niche of responsible consumers who are searching to live a healthy lifestyle while nurturing the values of sustainability and equity. eshmoon products have started exposing in organic markets like souk el tayeb and other fairs and expos and is slowly making its way onto the shelves of organic shops and responsible marketplaces.
What are the products that you currently sell?
I have chosen to start creating products that are healthy responsible and sustainable. I have started by making Vegetable Soap and Shampoo made from olive oil, laurel oil and coconut oil, and they have been my first successful products. Until I realized that I need to go into something more basic and that leaves a deeper impression, this is where I decided to start creating a new blend of organic chocolate made from organic non-processed cacao, coconut butter and sweetened with molasses or honey.
This product has kicked off and has by-passed the success of the soap and shampoo and is making its way very fast unto every shelf and into every market, since it is a new local creation with a standard and taste that compares to the famous chocolate brands available in the market while preserving its responsible values and healthy attributes.
What are the raw materials that you use and why?
I try to source my ingredients from local producers like the molasses honey olive oil and laurel oil in addition to the essential oils however the ingredients that are not available locally like cacao and coconut butter I seek to acquire it from sources that respect the same values that eshmoon is built upon.
The raw materials used in my products are “Natural” or “Organic” meaning that they are in Harmony with the environment (society and the natural ecosystem) and in harmony with our natural biological system. Here is where we go into explaining what a holistic product is. Holistic comes from the word holos in Greek which means complete. To have a product that is complete it must be beneficial as a whole and not harmful to neither man nor his environment. So these product in order to be holistic they have to nourish man’s natural biological system without interfering with it in an abrupt way and also they have to be responsible meaning that they have to consider their social impact as well as their impact on the ecosystem. In this way the product will take its natural place in the market without resulting in any abuse to any of the elements we just stated.
How are these products holistic?
Eshmoon products seek to be closest to being holistic by applying the notion stated above to all the domains of its work. Thus we start by outsourcing the ingredients we use from natural sources where they are not processed or done with minimal non-harmful processing, in order to preserve its natural nutritive benefits, and are “fair trade” in seeking to be outsourced directly from the producer or from trusted sources that assume their social and environmental responsibility. The packaging also is chosen to be from local recyclable containers and paper. And finally the markets are organic shops and fair trade expos.
Do you feel that the Lebanese market has acquired enough understanding of holistic foods and ingredients or you constantly feel that you have to explain it to people?
My Job is currently divided into production and outreach. In the first I focus on producing and outsourcing the ingredients as well as researching and developing new products. In the second I seek to reach out with this product to the market where I have to explain what it is and introduce the concepts behind eshmoon, which is where I realize that I am doing an awareness campaign more than a marketing campaign. However I believe that there is a new emerging niche of conscious people who are aware of these notions and seek to apply them in their lives.
What are the products you currently sell?
Vegetable soap and shampoo through Eshmoon Hygenics.
Organic chocolate balls and Organic chocolate spreads through Eshmoon Organics .
Where can people find your products?
In expos, organic shops and soon in my shop in Jdeideh. (Detailed list at the end of the article)
What are Eshmoon’s future plans?
I am slowly releasing one product after the other taking time in its creation and testing and giving time for each product to receive the attention it deserves. I believe that the energy that goes into the creation will be lost if the product is revealed ahead of time thus it takes its credit prematurely, that’s why I am revealing my new creations one at a time and not rushing the steps and enjoying the process. I am also preparing an organic shop next to my workshop in jdeideh where people can find the eshmoon products in addition to other organic and sustainable products.
Anything you would like to add?
I would like to leave the reader with this nice song from the movie “brother sun sister moon” that I sing quite often while working in my workshop which goes: “if you want your dream to be build it slow and surely small beginnings greater ends heartfelt work grows purely, if you want to live life free; take your time go slowly, do few things but do them well, simple joys are holy. Day by day, stone by stone, build your secret slowly, day by day you’ll grow too, you’ll know heaven’s glory.”
List of organic shops where you can find Eshmoon’s products:
Rita’s Shop – Hamra
Cosy Food – Beit Mery
Le Coin Organic – Dekweneh
A New Earth – Ashrafieh
The Olive Tree – Sodeco
Live Organic – Rabieh
Kitchen Confidential – achrafieh
Al Marej – Achrafieh
Beit El Soha – Achrafieh
Macrodette – Antelias
Healthy Basket – AUB
Herbatica – Ghazir
Nature at Home – Online and Jisr El Basha
Green Natural – Achrafieh
The Food Dealer – Mar Mkhayel
Healthy Steps – Adonis
Bioland – Achrafieh
Le Verger de Marie – Zouk
Le Sam – Bliss
Samer Toutounji’s biography:
He is a graduate from the American University of Beirut with a BS in chemistry followed by MS in natural products biotechnology in Greece. He followed his education with a specialized diploma in cosmetics manufacturing in Australia before venturing into the creation of his own products and creations. Eshmoon is the result of one of his meditations. He is also a yoga teacher.