Every person must have a passion, be it in retail or otherwise. If you’re not passionate about a particular thing, you won’t be driven enough to achieve your goal in most cases. Passion drives you to achieve even goals that seem difficult. When you see your dreams turning into reality, the feeling of accomplishment is indescribable. That’s what I’ve seen in my life. It was a strong passion for two things – chocolate-making and trading – that drove me to start Patchi, a brand that’s globally recognised today.
From setting up a small kitchen in my house to make chocolates, I finally opened my first boutique shop in the upmarket Al Hamra Street in Beirut in 1974.
Not everything was so rosy, however. Soon after we launched Patchi, the war started in Lebanon, so we had to leave, though I didn’t leave Lebanon completely. My family did. In 1976, I began a new operation in Amman (Jordan) with a small factory. We then moved on to Saudi Arabia, followed by Kuwait and the UAE, gradually penetrating the Gulf markets and introducing the social dimension of chocolate consumption, till then unknown to Patchi consumers.