Founded 30 years ago by brothers who came to America from the mountainous region of
northern Lebanon, Neomonde has a spirit all its own. That's because the Saleh brothers Samir
("Sam"), Joseph ("Joe"), Mounir, and DeGaulle decided long ago that anything they sell must be
good enough to serve their own family. They consider it their responsibility as ambassadors of
their country and their culture to provide nothing less than the best.
Their dedication to excellence and authenticity began when the brothers were just boys,
growing up in Lebanon. They tended the family's wheat fields, harvesting grain and taking it to be
ground at the town mill. They watched their mother, Cecilia, mix dough and bake bread in the communal
kiln. In the evening, when the family gathered together to eat, the texture and delicious taste of
bread was satisfying as well as symbolic. In a village that could remember times of famine, bread
meant celebration. Pita, this native bread, is much more than a culinary or even cultural tradition.
It is health. It is passion. It is life itself.
A Passion for Pita Bread
When the Saleh family immigrated to the United States in the 1970s to escape civil war and to
pursue educational opportunities, they brought with them their passion for bread and, most importantly,
their mother's recipes.
With help from an uncle, a converted pizza oven, and space rented from a Raleigh strip mall,
the brothers opened Neomonde Baking Company in 1977. They decided to honor their new country by
naming the business "New World." Their goal: To make bread just like their mother.
Starting with just a few types of bread, Neomonde began landing wholesale customers like
The Irregardless Cafe and Harmony Farms. As the Raleigh area grew, so did Neomonde's customer
list and product offerings. In the early 1980s, the storefront space was swapped for a freestanding
facility on Beryl Road in Raleigh.
Mediterranean Cuisine for Raleigh, NC
In 1989, the brothers expanded the business in another promising direction when
they opened a deli. Everything in the deli case
prepared from family recipes using only authentic ingredients, most of it by Cecilia herself.
At first, food was only available for take-out but, over the years, the brothers
added a dining area and patio seating to keep up with their ever-expanding popularity.
Also by popular demand, they launched a small Mediterranean grocery
that fans of the restaurant could purchase all the exotic staples and spices to prepare Middle
Eastern cuisine at home.
Expanding throughout the Triangle Area
In 2000, Neomonde opened a new café/market and relocated their wholesale baking
facility and corporate offices with the completion of a 20,000-square-foot location
at Morrisville Square in Morrisville.
Today, Neomonde Baking Company
bakes over 200 different
varieties of breads and pastries for about 300 wholesale clients, from Maine to
Florida and as far west as Texas.
The two Mediterranean restaurants
serve about 750
diners daily, many of them regulars. Neomonde now also offers catering
Triangle-area special events and corporate functions.
In a story that's synonymous with success, perhaps the greatest success of
all is customer loyalty. "Neomonde Nuts," as they're lovingly called, return again and
again. They come for the food, yes. But they also come for the comforting familiarity,
the genuine friendships, and the warm personality of this place. Here's what customers
are saying about Neomonde:
A Legacy that Continues to Thrive
"I have been nuts for Neomonde ever since coming here 14 years ago when I was a student at Meredith College. I was a weekly regular for years. (I'll never forget Mounir telling me to pronounce his name by remembering 'the moon is near.') The food is still the best."
"I have been coming to Neomonde since I was seven years old. My friends and I would walk over from the Raleigh School of Ballet for lunch or a snack. I love Neomonde!"
"Your food is always terrific and so is your service. It's one of the few places I go where I ALWAYS feel genuinely welcome."
"My fourth-grade class brought me to Neomonde in 1994 and when I came back as an adult, I rediscovered this marvelous store's food, service, and atmosphere! Thank you for all of your hard work to create an experience here of what the Middle East means."
Franklin, Chapel Hill
Quite literally, infants who teethed on Neomonde pita have grown up and now visit with
their own children in tow. In the years from then to now, Neomonde has changed in so many ways,
but its friendliness and family-run spirit continue to thrive.
And the devotion to freshness and quality that the brothers learned in the "old world"? Every
delicious bite testifies that the only-the-best commitment is still very much alive at Neomonde.
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