According to, the historic Damascene Ghraoui Chocolate recently opened its shop on the Andrássy Avenue. The company, which relaunched its business in Hungary after the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, will be present at the Salon du Chocolat of Paris as a Hungarian brand.

Ghraoui, one of the oldest Damascene trader families, opened its shop on the Andrássy Avenue – as Rania Ghraoui, the communications director of the company told She said that innovation is just as important in chocolate production as tradition, so out of the 120 products sold in the shop, several were made according to new recipes. The production is temporarily done in the factory of Csepel with 65 Hungarian workers, who were trained by six Damascene chocolate masters in the past three months.

They are constantly recruiting new workforce: one hundred people are expected to be working in the factory in a month. But this is only a temporary solution, because they plan on moving to the chocolate factory of Hatvan next October. The whole investment costs 7.6 billion forints (~EUR 24.4m), to which the state adds a 1.5 billion support (~EUR 4.8m). 540 new jobs could be created on 12,000 m2 in Hatvan.

Based on the plans, the Budapest-based factory will come out with at least 10 thematic collections every year.

The products designed for the Christmas and New Year festivities will be launched in the beginning of November. Until then, they try to popularise their chocolate creations through tasting events.

Besides Hungarian clients, the shop also served French, American, Australian and Chinese guests during the week that has passed since the opening. The Parisian Salon du Chocolat held between the 28th of October and the 1st of November will be a milestone, because it features 500 factories from 60 countries and attracts 120,000 visitors. The best part is that Ghraoui will be present as a Hungarian brand.

95% of the 1000 ton premium chocolate produced in Hungary will be marked out for export worth 200 million euros. The next shop will be opened in Paris in the end of November, but they will also be present in Berlin and Dubai from 2018.

The communications director emphasized that no matter where their shops may be, they want to have at least one Hungarian colleague in all of them.

This is why they are thrilled that Hungarians who also speak Chinese, Japanese or Korean also applied for certain jobs. In the next five years, they plan on inaugurating 40 more shops and cooperating with airlines and hotel chains.

As Rania Ghraoui recalled, the family business experienced both glory and failure since 1805. The success of the family – originally occupied with sugar, coffee and tea trade – was once set back by deprivatisation, once by the confiscation of industrial companies, and last time by the Syrian civil war. That was when they decided to move their headquarters to Budapest, thanks to which Hungary made it onto the map of the luxury chocolate market.

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Ce: bm


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