There are so many chocolate shops around the world but perhaps none are as revolutionary as Cacao Sampaka. The flagship store, which opened in Barcelona in 2000, not only offered a wide variety of chocolates but it was also considered the primary source for haute chocolate. Spain’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Mr. Pablo Bravo, inaugurated the first Cacao Sampaka café and retail store concept in the Kingdom just last month. The inauguration was attended by a group of Saudi and Spanish businesspersons including members of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce.

“Opening Cacao Sampaka in Saudi Arabia is a perfect case of offering unique and high quality Spanish products to a country with a tasteful culture that appreciates quality,” said His Excellency during the inauguration. “I am very pleased to see the Cacao Sampaka concept introduced in the best setting possible, which reflects a successful joint effort by Spanish and Saudi businesses”

With a sizable 430 square meter total area, the café and store are located in Khobar Business Gate Plaza, a premium development on King Faisal Coastal Road. The cafe introduces the first chocolate bar experience to its visitors. The interior décor of the store and café is warm and inviting, making Cacao Sampaka a refreshing break.

“We are very glad to see our first store and café in the Kingdom executed at such a high standard” said Mr. Jordi Ametller, the Cacao Sampaka representative.

Bright Future Establishment, a Saudi Family business founded by young entrepreneurs, brought the franchise to Saudi Arabia. Oasis caught up with one of the co-founders and co-owners of Bright Future Establishment.

What inspired you to bring Cacao Sampaka to Saudi Arabia?

It’s a combination of three major items: the passion that my family and I have for chocolate, the love for business and starting up our own cafe, and finally, that Cacao Sampaka is actually a family business and not a corporation.

Why did you decide to get into this particular business?

Since 1999 I had an open eye for business, my brother (Abdulaziz) and I would talk about different businesses and how to develop a business. Where to start was the major thing. That is when we started roaming malls; everywhere we go and anywhere we traveled gave us a better sense on how complex different businesses work. For example, in the fashion industry, a brand has only three months to sell their items. Otherwise it will be “last season” fashion. Therefore, would it be worth it to go into that business. We also, started talking to different business owners to get some idea on how to operate a business.

One business owner suggested that we either look for what the market is missing or follow our passion. That was where it all started from!

What has been the best business advice you’ve been given?

A good friend of mine taught me a lesson I will always remember. He once said: “Be your first customer at your business. This way you will always have high standards for your business and you will enjoy doing it. “ – Mohammed Zeiton

How has your experience been so far in launching Cacao Sampaka?

Patience is golden. We are still in the middle of learning more and experiencing a lot of peaks and valleys.

What was the highlight of the launch night?

Seeing my family standing beside Cacao Sampaka, supporting the family business, and watching my father cutting the opening ribbon.

How will your business be different then other chocolate shops available in the area?

We offer over 150 types and ways of enjoying a variety of chocolate items with superb taste, quality, and being natural with no artificial colors or preservatives.

What is your ultimate ambition for your store?

Expanding strategically in other areas, building an institution that could support Saudis in owning, building, and operating their own food and beverage business.

What is your favorite chocolate in the store?

La Jolla, Xoconusco, macadamia nuts chocolate, and coffee chocolate spread.

Shop #11, Khobar Business Gate Plaza

King Faisal Road, Khobar

Tel. +996 (3) 849-4040

www.cacaosampaka.com