Exploring the rise of European pastry shops in Lebanon

Exploring the rise of European pastry shops in Lebanon

As a region, the Middle East has a sweet tooth, and pastry shops in Lebanon continue to thrive, especially the European kind. We take a look at the trend for non-oriental desserts in the Lebanese market.

Traditions versus trends

According to Makram Rbeiz, owner of Patisserie Pâte à Choux, it can be challenging to blend European pastry with Lebanese consumer preferences. Indeed, there is a pressing need to constantly update offerings to meet evolving tastes. Rbeiz emphasizes the importance of quality ingredients, skilled staff and affordability.

Charles Azar, co-founder of Le Flocon Artisan Glacier, said that since 2000, he has been fusing European pastry techniques with Lebanese ingredients. “We started this trend during the World Pastry Cup sin 2002, which was something new for the European audience. We presented new flavors during this competition and afterward, we continued creating.”


Sourcing certain ingredients for pastry can be difficult, as well as finding specific fruits and storing them. Nayla Audi, CEO of OSLO, mentioned that in order to avoid storage and perishability issues, she works with fruits and ingredients that are in season.

Another challenge faced by many pastry shops in Lebanon is the lack of experienced pastry chefs. Despite 8 out of 40 students pursuing pastry, many are traveling to work and gain experience overseas.


Gaby Bustros, founder and managing partner of Emotions Pâtissier Glacier, said that around 75 to 80 percent of customers select classic pastries.

Updating offerings while preserving quality is crucial amid a backdrop of unique flavors and techniques, and the persistent challenges include fruit storage and ingredient sourcing for franchises, alongside a shortage of skilled pastry chefs.

Insights from HORECA Talks 2024 at HORECA Lebanon, co-organized by Hospitality News Middle East and Hodema Consulting Services. Session moderated by Nada Alameddine, managing partner at Hodema Consulting Services, and Nagi Morkos, founder and manager partner at Hodema Consulting Services.

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