Specialty cheese hits Kuwait

Specialty cheese hits Kuwait


Demand for cheese is growing in Kuwait, much like the rest of the Middle East. We spoke with Antoine Obeid, regional managing director of Farmland, to learn more about La Maison du Fromage, the country’s first specialty cheese store.

What can you tell us about your love for cheese?
My passion for cheese dates back to the days when I began my career. At the age of 17, I was working at Massad, my uncle’s supermarket and delicatessen. There, in the corner, I was exposed to a world of cheeses. I would like to express my profound gratitude to my uncle Elie Massad — my greatest teacher. He had a unique bond with cheese and gave it immense value and importance. It is because of him that I decided to establish my own gourmet shop.

With La Maison du Fromage, you took a European business model and launched it in Kuwait. What prompted you to do this?
From 1977, I started visiting cheese factories around the world, exploring and checking the manufacturing of different cheese varieties. The more I tasted, the clearer the idea became in my mind. Then, one day, I discovered the concept of La Maison du Fromage. It is not only a boutique; it’s a complete experience. Whether we are serving cheese platters at special events or delivering cheese to our customers, our mission is to introduce specialty cheeses to the region.

What should a buyer look out for when selecting a cheese?
When we are talking about selection, the age of the cheese plays a significant role, along with the type and the brand. At La Maison du Fromage, we have over 400 different types of gourmet cheese. We assist our clients by ensuring we understand when and how they intend to use the cheese. We advise and educate them so that they can enjoy a product that best meets their taste.

In your opinion, who is the best cheesemonger?
I have worked with several cheesemongers, and the best are always the ones who have extensive experience in the cheese world and know how to transmit their knowledge and expertise with full transparency. I am fortunate to work with Lactalis International, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Emmanuel Besnier, the world’s most renowned cheesemaker, who has enriched my passion for cheese.

Are you looking to franchise your concept?
Indeed, we are ready to franchise our concept in any country. We have no doubt that it will grow.

Antoine Obeid,
Regional Managing Director

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