Lebanon’s Pastry Pioneers

Lebanon’s Pastry Pioneers

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There’s nothing quite like the sweet taste of success. HN talks to five Lebanese pastry shop owners to discover more about their brands and their recipe for staying ahead.

THE INNOVATOR

Branches in Lebanon Naqqash, Achrafieh and seasonal kiosks
What pastry trends are on your watch list?
Definitely hybrid cakes — a mixture of two famous pastries. Some of the best-known examples are: cronut, brookies, cruffin, whoopie pie and red velvet croissant.
How have you differentiated your brand?
In several ways: the artisanal aspect, the use of pasteurized fresh milk, premium-quality chocolate and seasonal fruits that are free from preservatives. The 30 years of experience I have in pastry also plays a role.
What is the secret to running a successful pastry shop?
It’s important to have the right location and top-quality products that are sensibly priced. Innovation is also essential, as customers are always looking for new and exciting creations.

charles azar

Charles Azar
Master consultant chef Owner
Le Flocon Artisan Glacier

THE STYLISH ONE

Branches in Lebanon
Central Kitch’in (Achrafieh)
What pastry trends are on your watch list?
I’m mesmerized by all the new embroidery cake designs that are trending at the moment.
How have you differentiated your brand?
Our bespoke cakes and cookies are personalized to fit any theme. We do not compromise on quality and always look for new and creative ways to meet the needs of our clients.
What is the secret to running a successful pastry shop?
I think the key to a successful baking business is to stay one step ahead while maintaining high product quality. Staying loyal to the brand is essential as well.
Do you have any exciting plans in the pipeline?
We’re currently working on expanding our online business further, probably beyond the country’s borders as well. We’re considering a new line that focuses on one of our tried-and-tested items. We are also working on a new concept to target a larger audience.

Hala Beydoun

Hala Beydoun
Founder and creative director
Cocoa & Co

THE TRENDSETTER

Branches in Lebanon Achrafieh
What pastry trends are on your watch list?
As with all cuisines, pastry is shifting toward organic, sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free and keto.
How have you differentiated your brand?
Combining a live-fire cooking technique with a novel Asian-Japanese practice, Curli-Q’s signature item is a ring-shaped cake that’s baked layer upon layer, coated in batter and slowly cooked to perfection on a rotating spit. Our cakes are made from scratch using the finest ingredients.
What is the secret to running a successful pastry shop?
It’s all about continuous innovation and keeping up to date with trends and changes in consumer behavior.
What plans do you have in the pipeline?
We are looking into several Curli-Q points of sale in the region via franchises or partnerships.

Maya Bekhazi Noun

Maya Bekhazi Noun
Founder and managing partner
Curli-Q

THE TRADITIONALIST

Branches in Lebanon
Sassine, Sioufi, Beirut Central District, Zalka and Mzaar Intercontinental
What pastry trends are on your watch list?
We prefer to stick to timeless classics as opposed to trends that fade over time.
How have you differentiated your brand?
Noura is synonymous with Lebanon’s culinary heritage. What makes it unique is a combination of highest-quality ingredients, freshness, consistency, respect for traditions and personalized service.
What is the secret to running a successful pastry shop?
It’s all down to the quality of the ingredients, the recipes, presentation, freshness and service.
What plans do you have in the pipeline?
Following our successful expansion in Lebanon, we are now looking at developing internationally and considering several new markets that we hope to enter over the next five years. We will directly manage some and others will be franchises.

Julien Khabbaz

Julien Khabbaz
Chairman and CEO
Noura

THE CREATIVE ONE

Branches in Lebanon
Achrafieh, Verdun, Martaklah, Antelias and Broumana
What pastry trends are on your watch list?
Greater artisanship, more authenticity, originality and the creative adaptation of classical recipes are definitely trends to look out for.
How have you differentiated your brand?
Since the day it was founded, Pâte a Choux has combined artisanship, authenticity and ONEthe highest quality ingredients to create the finest desserts and viennoiseries.
What is the secret to running a successful pastry shop?
Consistency, innovation generosity, a well trained staff and good customer service are the fundamentals of any successful pastry business.
What plans do you have in the pipeline?
Unfortunately, due to the global recession, the coronavirus and the fragile economic situation in Lebanon, our expansion plans have been put on hold.

Makram Rbeiz

Makram Rbeiz
Owner and GM
Patisserie Pate à Choux

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