The artisan chocolate maker at Delice
‘I have no choice but to eat chocolate every day,’ exclaims Jalel Ghayaza, who started his bespoke chocolate brand with just a Dhs100,000 bank loan. ‘I can’t eat 20 chocolates a day, but I do quality checks daily’.
When he’s not sampling the pretty treats that are made in his 70 sq m factory in Deira, the Tunisian businessman is travelling the world sourcing the best ingredients for his chocolates. ‘We pride ourselves on the quality of the product and the best raw ingredients. We have Iranian pistachios, hazelnuts from Turkey, almonds from Tunisia, American walnuts. I buy them all once a year.’
When he’s back from his whirlwind shopping trips, Ghayaza gets back into the office, working with his producers and brand managers to create new chocolates, and attractive packaging. ‘My strategy is innovation. Every week or two we have something new.’
The brand is now expanding across the world and has recently opened a concession in luxury department store Harrods in London. And just as varied as his chocolates, Ghayaza’s daily schedule is a tantilising assortment of activity. ‘There’s no typical day for me. I travel three days a week. I just got back from Bahrain to open the new Delice, and I’m off to London to oversee the Harrods concession, and then to Baku, Azerbaijan for our next franchise.’
Does the chocolate making CEO have a sweet tooth? ‘Of course! Especially for my chocolates.’ www.delice-dubai.com What do you need:
An eye for innovation, knowledge of the food market and current trends in food and confectionary. Where to get training:
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a Willy Wonka, try the artisan chocolate making course at the International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai.Dhs3,000 for a group class. ICCA, Block 8, Dubai Knowledge Village, www.iccadubai.ae (04 457 8811).
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