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MTSU alumna wins first place in Pick Tennessee Products contest

An MTSU alumna can claim that her company’s product is the “Pick of Tennessee.”

Java Hemmat’s Nashville-based Hummus Chick, a firm that makes hummus for retailers, won first place at the 2016 Pick Tennessee Products Trade Show. The event took place during the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association’s Food Expo June 8 and 9 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Java Hemmat

Java Hemmat

Stacks of containers of delicious hummus, prepared by MTSU alumna Java Hemmat's "Hummus Chick" company, await distribution to local outlets. (Photo courtesy of Java Hemmat)

Stacks of containers of delicious hummus, prepared by MTSU alumna Java Hemmat’s “Hummus Chick” company, await distribution to local outlets. (Photo courtesy of Java Hemmat)

“Our customers drive our passion, and we’ve listened to so many great stories about the meals enjoyed in the Mediterranean,” said Hemmat. “Through these stories, we found that there’s a gap in the Mediterranean cuisine enjoyed in the (United) States.”

All the products judged at the trade show are produced in Tennessee and are part of the Pick Tennessee Products program, which is sponsored by the state Department of Agriculture. They were judged for originality, taste and packaging.

Hemmat, a naturalized American citizen from United Arab Emirates, moved to the United States in 1998 and relocated to Nashville in 2003 after earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration from MTSU.

Her hummus also has been honored as a past nominee for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards. Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, olive oil and other ingredients.

hummus chick logo web

Hemmat sells regular hummus, hummus with roasted garlic and cilantro and spicy hummus with pesto at 24 locations around the state. In August, Hemmat intends to launch a line of three new spice blends named after Mediterranean cities — Marrakech, Provence and Shiraz.

“The best part of our vision is that we’ve partnered with Heifer International to donate proceeds to 120 countries around the world to help families thrive in their communities,” said Hemmat.

To learn more about Hummus Chick, go to www.ilovehummuschick.com or www.facebook.com/Hummuschick/.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)