Two worlds unite in the new luxury sweet shop at Andrássy Avenue.
In recent years, there is not much good things to hear about Syria, but now a Syrian businessman can put Hungary on the imaginary world map of luxury chocolates. Bassam S. Ghraoui, a Syrian-Hungarian businessman opens a huge, shiny, luxury chocolate shop on the boulevard of Budapest. The businessman comes from a more than 200 years old merchant family and left his home country five years ago. He had a blooming chocolate factory and business in Damascus before the war and now he starts everything from the beginning again.
The breath-taking chocolate palace opens in June in the former Mendl Palace, which was thoroughly refurbished thanks to the luxury shop: its façade was restored to its original design, the interior was shaped by a mix of original style and charm of the East.
But let’s talk about the chocolate. Ghraoui brand has tons of specialties, such as sesame croquant, orange filled orange shaped chocolate, almond-filled candied dates coated with dark chocolate or sultan's bread. These bonbons are supreme category in all their ingredients, looks and flavors.
The unique chocolates of the 178 square meter shop are being produced in Csepel for the time being, but in one and a half year, all pralines and bonbons will be made by 560 professionals in Hatvan. It is planned that Budapest will be the base for the international expansion of the company: there will be a Ghraoui shop in Dubai, Qatar, Berlin and Vienna, but as Bassam says, "this will be a Hungarian brand."
“I’d like to conquer the world from Budapest, and I’d like the Hungarians to be proud of this chocolate" says the Syrian-born businessman.