Rising to the challenge
"I feel that if you really do love what you do, you would be willing to do anything for your business. I really do love to create unique experiences, and through baking I really feel that there are endless opportunities."
Looshi’s managing director, Alia El Alami, has always had a sweet tooth and she would regularly bake delicious treats at home. But after the birth of her first son, and with plenty of time spent at home, her friends and family encouraged her to start thinking beyond her own kitchen because they were sure that others would be interested in her delicate macaroons and other treats. They were right, and now Looshi’s is one of the most popular bakers in Dubai and beyond.
“I’ve always enjoyed baking,” says Alia. “There was always something baking in my kitchen, I definitely have a sweet tooth. It started off specifically with macarons, I was determined to find a way to make them (they are very difficult to make), once I did, I changed a bit of the recipe to achieve a good taste, my friends and family liked it.”
Creating a commercial kitchen
With rave reviews coming in, Alia began to realise that she could live the dream and turn her hobby into a career. “I created a Facebook page and started selling macarons for different occasions: parties, weddings…etc. After receiving positive feedback, I proposed the idea of opening a bakery to my dad and brother (who were running a dessert restaurant in Egypt at the same time), and they gave me the encouragement and tools to start everything off.”
Having access to platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have been invaluable to Alia as she grew Looshi’s as a business, giving her the ability to market her creations and build a community of baking fans. “The market here in Dubai is very competitive,” says Alia. “It’s very difficult for small businesses like Looshi’s to stand out from the crowd. It’s a continuous struggle to market our brand. I don’t think it’s possible that we would reach where we are now without an established Facebook page. We would’ve been stuck with using traditional solutions which would cost a lot, and I still wouldn’t stand out because the big players would be spending much more than me.”
Tasty treats made with real passion
There’s a lyrical description on the Looshi’s website describing the joy of tasting your first macaroon, and it’s a sentiment that Alia wants to share with her growing customer base, too. “I will never forget my first Macaron. I had seen them before, their vibrant colors glistening in the French patisserie windows. They seemed so delicate and precious, something to eat only on special occasions. But there also seemed a barrier between me and those exquisite treats. I couldn’t put my finger on it, perhaps it was the over the top, opulent presentation, the snooty shop owners or maybe the huge price tag. I decided I would make it my mission to bring Macarons to everybody. And here they are, for you, me and everybody.” Alia’s goal of baking delicious and affordable treats for her family, friends and customers is now a reality.
Learn more about Alia and Looshi’s