and Leisure

Case Study: Maya La Chocolaterie, Building a Global Brand

Born out of Bahraini ownership, the highly successful Maya La Chocolaterie has swiftly established itself as a specialist chain whose product range is 95% chocolate content. The brand is a favoured leisure destination for chocolate-loving tourists from the region as well as farther afield in Europe and the United States. The company operates a franchise model and has carried its presence into other GCC countries, with plans to continue expanding internationally. Given their development to-date, driven by consistency of standards and procedures, that looks highly achievable.

Maya La Chocolaterie has built its business on Bahrain’s excellent transport and logistics infrastructure. Everything is tightly planned and integrated, enabling products to be imported and exported swiftly and cost-effectively. For Maya La Chocolaterie, air freight provides exceptional flexibility. As a perishable food, chocolate has to be handled quickly and at optimum temperature and humidity. By using Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, with its chilled container network, Maya La Chocolaterie can have its monthly production in the hands of regional franchises well within 24 hours, ready for delivery to local outlets. The company exports more than 24 tons of chocolate annually, and has a 100% positive record over the last ten years. Given that Gulf Air alone flies to nearly 35 destinations outside the GCC, Maya La Chocolaterie has access to a strong international cargo distribution system.

Bahrain EDB focuses on the development of unique and diverse restaurant and café concepts as part of the greater tourism ecosystem. Some of Bahrain’s biggest tourism strengths come from the large variety of quality-driven food service concepts such as Maya La Chocolaterie. It is important for the community to have home-grown, successful concepts. Therefore, Bahrain EDB strives to support these businesses to expand in the Bahrain market, which provides a larger platform for these companies to grow beyond the borders of Bahrain. Bahrain EDB collaborates individually with concept owners, such as Maya La Chocolaterie, to build awareness of their brand, identify potential expansion locations, and provide general information on the market.

Maya La Chocolaterie is a 100% made in Bahrain concept. The shareholders are Bahrainis, the management are Bahrainis, the team creating the menus and recipes are Bahrainis. The architect, interior designers, the operations team - I’m so proud to say that they are all hardworking, dedicated Bahrainis.

Sonya Janahi

Founder of Maya La Chocolaterie