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Ghraoui Chocolate expands from Hungary

Premium Syrian-owned chocolate maker Ghraoui Csokoládé Manufaktúra has opened its first Hungarian store on Andrássy út near the Opera House in Budapest. The new store will offer some 120 products, supplied from a temporary facility on Csepel Island in the south of the capital.

The temporary factory currently has 65 employees, trained by six chocolatiers from Damascus, Communications Director Rania Ghraoui told business daily Világgazdaság. The company is expanding further and plans to have 100 employees within a month.

From October next year, Ghraoui is planning to start the first phase of production at its new HUF 7.6 billion plant in Hatvan (east of Budapest), creating 540 new jobs. The government is providing HUF 1.5 bln funding to create the new chocolate production facility. Ghraoui plans to export 95% of the products made in Hungary.

Rania Ghraoui told Világgazdaság that in the next five years the company will open 40 new stores in Hungary and abroad, including Paris, Berlin and Dubai, as well as seeking cooperation with hotel chains and airlines.

The next milestone is expected to be the Salon du Chocolat in Paris running from October 28 to November 1, where 500 exhibitors from 60 countries will present their wares to an estimated 120,000 visitors, and where Ghraoui will be represented as a Hungarian brand.

The communications director told Világgazdaság that wherever the company opens a new store in the world, it will employ at least one Hungarian among its staff, and for this reason Ghraoui welcomes applications from locals who speak Chinese, Japanese or Korean.