The Thyme Machine | Zaatar Truck

Rachid Akiki, MD, MBA
5 min readOct 6, 2021

I have always been amazed by Food Trucks. A truck is made to move people or things from point A to point B, so everytime I see a truck producing food, I think, Woah, this is magical. Just like a child, I get excited and remember my childhood in Beirut and Bkaatouta in my home country of Lebanon. A white and blue ice cream truck would pass by my grandmother’s house to sell bread, ice cream, and cotton candy. I would hear the tune of the truck from miles away, and instantly, my salivary glands would go in overdrive. That’s the Pavlov effect! I would rush to my grandmother, Marie, to ask her for some Lebanese Pounds (Lira — currently called #Lollar by Dani IC) and affix myself to the window so I can spot and run to the truck at the right time!

That’s Teta Marie — I miss her a lot. We say Teta in Lebanese and it stands for Grandmother.

Now, after being in the United States for a medical career, and establishing a few successful businesses in this great country, I wanted to create something amazing. Magical enough to spark people’s imagination. A special connection to my Lebanese roots that shows the hospitality and the goodness of the Lebanese people to the world. So where do I start?

It all started at 6:30 AM. On a beautiful bike ride to the sunrise from Brickell to South Beach Miami. A bike ride I incorporated into my daily morning routine. After a 12-mile ride, I’d sit and stare at the ocean and the slow sunbeams emerging from under the seas magically lighting up the skies. I started calling this: The most expensive show on earth. And, it truly was. It took a lot of effort and determination to wake up early every morning, put on the biking gear, and bike those miles to witness 5 minutes of pure bliss, a view worth the morning struggle. That is why I still do it every time I am in Miami. These 5 minutes allow me the freedom to meditate, to dive deeper into my goals and my purpose, and to decide what legacy I want to leave behind. That freedom allowed me to open my mind to an introspective analysis of who I was as a person, my identity, my values, and my aspirations. I got to ask myself many questions, but the answers were never obvious nor fixed. They kept changing on a daily basis. But my daily routine did not. Upon my return from my morning workout sessions, I would have a small coffee while I spoke to my parents back home, and got ready to work. Every day, my mom reminds me to eat some Zaatar (Also known as Thyme), because according…

Rachid Akiki, MD, MBA

Decentralizing healthcare 🚀 Medical Doctor turned Serial Entrepreneur. Boston & Miami-based. Studied physics, medicine, radiology, & business. Always Learning