Against all odds


August 14, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

Against all odds

In his opening comments at the THINK! I CAN! conference, Alexandre Bachir, Managing Director of homegrown brand Bachir Ice Cream Middle East shared a deeply personal account. Here’s a snippet.

“Almost nine decades ago, in 1936 my grandfather and his brother, supported by their wives, started making ice-creams in the backyard of our home in Lebanon. All this amid many challenges such as shortage of water and electricity. The story of Bachir Ice Cream, our family business, is one of passion, resilience and overcoming challenges – quite like many other stories emanating from Lebanon. We persevered and there has not been a day in the last 87 years where ice-cream has not been part of our family.”

The second-generation family members, Alexandre’s father and three uncles took the business to new heights amid new challenges – this time war! They did everything possible to continue making ice-creams.

“In the 70s there were only a few stores in Lebanon that had Italian and German machines producing ice-creams. When we purchased these machines, it became easier to make ice-creams and we quickly opened three new outlets in Beirut,” he shared. “My cousin and I, the third-generation family members, modernised the business further as we saw the potential of expanding the brand. Almost 13 years ago, my cousin wanted to introduce Bachir Ice Cream to the UAE, but we weren’t keen to take the franchise route.”

In 2019, when Lebanon was facing another crisis and Alexandre’s family moved to Dubai, he turned the existing challenges into an opportunity. “We signed a franchise agreement with Belhasa Hospitality in 2021 introducing Bachir Ice Cream in the UAE. We adjusted to the needs of a new market, uplifted the brand identity and there’s no looking back. Now, we have two stores in France, one store in Brazil and three in the UAE and counting. We may not have the most delicious ice-cream in the world, but we do have something that’s rare to find – passion, authenticity, heritage and legacy that will live on.”

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