Delectable delights in Dubai
How did you get into the chocolate industry?
What brought me into this world of chocolate is my passion and my appetite. I had a very big appetite for pastry to the extent that when I was a child I would exchange my toys for my friends' desserts. The main memory that I have from my childhood is a piece of hot bread with chocolate.
Why are you in Dubai?
The story behind the Dubai Mall shop is a story of two friends, me and Andre, my partner, who just wanted to have fun with our passion but show a new chocolate to the UAE that at its heart is authentic. We also have Nabil as our third partner who joined later.
This is the official opening of the Dubai Mall shop. We are celebrating the new collection and other ranges that are available in all our international stores all over the world. We have ice cream, chocolate bars, and different types of offerings that showcase the authenticity of chocolate that the brand stands for.
How do you keep the quality high across all your outlets?
Dubai is not that far compared to other markets like China and Japan. We have been in Japan for 18 years and in China for three years so the way we guarantee and maintain our quality is through a vacuum system and delivery by plane. We put our products in containers that allow us to control the temperature of the product every 10 minutes. We have been doing this for a very long time so Dubai is an easy market compared to those which are further from Brussels.
Have you created anything special for the Middle East market?
We have created a chocolate Arabia coffee. This is chocolate, coffee, and cardamom mixed together and is very interesting. It is unique for Dubai. Our Dubai collection also has flavours and bases of dates, orange flower, and pistachio.
What excites you right now in your job?
What excites me the most right now is being creative and creating new products. Everything you can see here in store I have created myself. And in addition to that, meeting other people from different cultures as I travel the world to get my produce — from them I get my inspiration.
What are the long-term plans for the brand?
The idea here is not to have 2,500 boutiques around the world, the ambition is to be in the most important capitals around the world and to maintain the quality. The focus is on quality of locations rather than quantity. We have ambitions to explore the USA as we’re not there yet. We’re thinking about New York. It doesn’t have to be everywhere, but quality places.