Hanadi Asad pays homage to her Palestinian heritage through desserts in her café, which is called Asali Desserts and Café. Before opening her café, she worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 15 years. On vacations visiting Palestine as a child, Asad always got her hands into whatever her grandmother was cooking; as an adult she had parlayed her passion into a side business as a home baker and event decorator. In 2015, tragedy struck and a newlywed couple whose wedding she had worked weeks before were killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Asad took stock of her life and decided that it was time to make her passion for baking her vocation. “You know life’s too short and we’re never guaranteed anything. And I wanted to teach my kids to go after what they want, to be strong,” Asad said. She left her career in pharmaceuticals and started the café; the rest, as they say, is history.

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