A Dream is Born
Haregewine Messert was Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to a family of four kids and naturally grew into a role as the family Chef. Her siblings claim that they have always known she’d grow up to be an amazing cook because of her fascination with the chemistry of food at a very early age.
“She always made something great out of nothing” her father states referring to her frequent experiments with food and recipe inventions. Her family traveled a lot and lived abroad for many years due to her father’s long carrier with the Ethiopian Airlines. This gave Haregewine a chance to experience a multitude of African and European cultures, customs and cooking artistry.
Her multi-cultural background through her travels shaped her broad vision at the early age to imagine infinite possibilities and expanded her range handsomely.
After moving to the US at the age of 19, Haregewine enrolled in the Nursing program at Howard University. Her nature is to nurture. Everyone who has ever met Haregewine will agree on how compassionate and caring she is so nursing seemed to be a natural field for her to get into.
Her father often tells this story to her friends and customers. Three years in to her college career, Haregewine often complained that she was fed up with her work load at School. One day her father asked Haregewine what is the one thing she loves doing so much that would never be tired of, Her face lit up as she answered “cooking”.
From that day on, Haregewine’s father started to rally the rest of the family to encourage and support Haregewine to go to culinary school instead. It was obvious to all that her true passion was in the kitchen. Convincing Haregewine to make a career out of her passion was a task. After much hesitation to ‘let go’ of the three years vested into nursing and much deliberation on whether or not this is the best decision for her, Haregewine’s father succeeded in persuading her to follow her true passion. Haregewine packed up her belongings and moved out of her Howard dormitory and enrolled in a Culinary Arts Program at Stratford University.
Haregewine blossomed in her passion and her talent in baking emerged while at Stratford. Her instructor Chef William encouraged her to consider specializing as a pastry chef, which she did. Upon graduating, Haregewine received a job offer from the Ritz Carlton Hotel due to her phenomenal performance and handsome recommendations from her instructors. Her long and successful career at the Ritz Carlton was soon replaced by a new dream.
A dream to innovate, a dream to think outside the box….a dream to nurture others using her passion and skill as an instrument.
The Sweet Idea
Chez Hareg Pastries: A slice of Europe in the heart of DC.
Owning her destiny, Hareg noticed a dilapidated building that was available for lease as she walked along Ninth Street in Northwest Washington, DC. She knew this was it! Her own bakery.
She immediately called her friend Teferi Zewdou about the building. Teferi, who was a real-estate developer encouraged her to follow her instincts and make her dream a reality. He also offered to invest financially in her dream. Within a week’s time, Hareg and Teferi formed a business partnership, leased the abandoned building and turned it into a beautiful pastry shop and a popular neighborhood café.
In march of 2007, Haregewine Messeret and Teferi Zewdou opened Chez Hareg Pastries in northwest Washington, DC. Haregewine also introduced to her artful vegan creations to local farmers markets and café’ customers alike, her scaled down recipes for decadent French and Italian classics are made with all-natural and healthier ingredients without compromising the richness or flavor. Chez Hareg quickly found its niche in all-natural, vegan and fine pastries markets and stood tall in all these categories as a unique and remarkable flavor.
The continuous media coverage from the Washington Post, Washingtonian, DC North, The In Towner and Eats Magazines as well as several write-ups on food columns, raved about Chez Hareg’s unique creations. Following an award by the Washingtonian Magazine as The Best Bakery of 2008, other food critics’ and dessert lovers’ reviews also recognized Chez Hareg’s Cookies and Napoleon cakes, “the best” in DC.
Chez Hareg soon landed opportunities to supply Whole Foods and Yes! Organic Markets with Vegan Loaves and Cookies and the Wholesale Sector was born.
A Tradition of Excellence Continues
Chez Hareg Gourmet Bakery
In 2009, Chez Hareg moved to its current location and expanded its work space by a few hundred square feet. Here, Chez Hareg creates every baked good imaginable. From Cakes, Cookies, Pastries, Pies, Loafs and breads, all the way to doggie treats.
All made with love, attention to detail and adherence to the highest standards of baking practices using only fresh, all-natural and quality ingredients.
Our goal is to make authentic European pastries, using as many local and whole ingredients as possible.
Our belief is to let quality natural ingredients take the starring role in every masterpiece we create without covering them up with sugar and loads of butter.
We make all of our products in-house, using the finest fresh and whole ingredients, with no chemicals or preservatives added. Our customers can simply ‘taste’ difference. A majority of our pastries are purposefully made low-calories and low-sugar, using natural sweeteners such as Agave nectar, molasses and honey instead of refined sugar.
Our Mission is to innovate outstanding recipes that preserve the authentic and decadent flavors of Classic European Desserts without overloading them with Butter and Sugar. Thus giving the families we cater to better choices.
For our vegan client’s, we aim to offer an uncompromising fine dessert experience using only the ingredients that support and reward their choices. Our Vegan assortment consists of a wide array of pastries and cookies that look, taste and feel like ‘the real deal’ without a speck of animal-products.
Our Sweet Words to Live By
We are passionately committed to honoring our sweet words through attention to detail and high standards in,
Chez Hareg’s Gourmet Bakery is a small business powered by a group of amazingly talented individuals that are passionate about baking and service. Each masterpiece is handmade, wrapped with love and delivered fresh with care to its destination each day by a team that is committed to making you smile. The team is always excited to hear from clients so please be sure to drop us a line in the comment box.
Things That’ll Make You Go “uhmmmm…”
Chez Hareg offers a wide range of choices. Baked masterpieces for any occasion, taste pallet or dietary preferences.
Our Baked goods are categorized as Traditional or Vegan and include,
Come in! Have a Taste of the sweet Life.
Peace & Love to all.