Sharon and Carol Salloum, Almond Bar, Darlinghurst

Syrians are born with hospitality in their blood, says Carol Salloum, one half of the dynamic duo behind Almond Bar. “Growing up, we always had people at our house and there was always food and drinks served no matter what our financial situation. Food was always at the centre of our gatherings.”

The Salloum sisters – Carol and Sharon – are the yin and yang of Almond Bar. Carol is the business brain and Sharon the food expert. They have an innate understanding of each other’s strengths and skills. And, importantly, as best friends they have each other’s back.

“I love everything about working with my sister,” says Sharon. “We laugh, we yell, we fight, we agree and disagree but we always make up and never hang on to things. I can always be 100 per cent honest with Carol and she can be the same with me.” 

Women in hospitality have to support each other in the industry and beyond, stresses Carol. “It’s simple, if women don’t support each other, how will we be taken seriously?” Family support means everything, she says. “Our mother, aunties and grandmother all were or are strong women who have been through so much in their lives but always provided for us and showed us love.”

The sisters were inspired to open Almond Bar by their mother’s and grandmother’s love for their food and the desire to share this love with the people around them. So Mother’s Day is a natural highlight.

“It wasn’t until I became a mother that I realised how massive a task it is and how selfless you become,” says Carol. “You see the world differently. I deeply appreciate my mother now more than ever.”

Their mother plays a huge part in the business and in the sisters’ lives. “We understand that there are many others out there who feel the same way,” says Sharon. “So we want to celebrate those mothers too."