Maison Noura’s newest outlets explained

Maison Noura’s newest outlets explained

Maison Noura’s newest outlets explained

The chief architect Marine Bustros, founder of mbDesign, discusses the latest newly-designed branches and the reasoning behind the architecture.

Maison Noura has come a long way since inception, so what does the brand mean to you?

I have a strong emotional connection with Noura that dates back to my childhood. When I was a young girl, my family had a tradition of ordering food from Maison Noura for our traditional Sunday family lunch, so the name brings back countless fond memories.

How has your experience helped you shape the new concept stores?

The professional experience I gained when working for an interior design company was very helpful since I was involved in a diverse range of commercial projects that included both restaurants and hotels. It’s vital for architects working today to adopt a holistic approach and consider the entire experience rather than focus solely on the design aspect.

What were the main challenges and will the same design be used for all the outlets?

The main challenge was to renew the brand while keeping its identity. Maison Noura is one of the finest chocolate, pastry and catering establishments, with a 70-year history. We had to create a concept for a new boutique, while simultaneously respecting the traditional signature of the brand. My mission was to design a space that the older generation would find welcoming, while also giving it a younger feel. The shops will definitely have the same vibe, color palette and identity, but visitors will find a variation and individual twist in each one. Every store is different in terms of existing architecture and size, so the idea was to adapt the design to the space and create a new concept for each of them.

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What sets the Noura designs apart from other brands?

In the initial stages, we researched extensively how to position the products most effectively and optimize the layout to give the customer the best overall experience. We also implemented a new ‘grab & go’ concept enabling customers to buy products on the go. This is proving particularly popular with the younger crowd. The Noura shops are welcoming spaces with a design that’s aesthetically pleasing without being pretentious. This combination ensures all visitors will feel relaxed and comfortable, whatever their demographic.

What are your plans for the future?

I’d like to focus on more commercial projects, whether restaurants, hotels or retail. As an interior designer, I’m not only interested in designing attractive spaces, but also learning about the entire infrastructure development behind a business. This valuable information helps me to produce the best design and customer experience for a client and will undoubtedly play a positive role in the business’s success.

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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