Mirzam's Kathy Johnston On The Chocolate Making Process, Being Part Of Expo 2020 Dubai, And More

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Launched in September 2016, Mirzam is a homegrown bean-to-bar chocolate factory based in Dubai’s Al Serkal Avenue. In this #EntMETalks episode, Kathy Johnston Chief Chocolate Officer discusses the brand’s origins, with its cocoa beans originating from plantations located along the historical Spice Route, inspired from how Arab traders used to gather to sell to international buyers. With various chocolate brands in the industry, Johnston points out the defining factors of a Mirzam chocolate is the intricate thoroughness from how each chocolate bar is made by hand, plus how the team behind the brand is a valuable asset.

Besides gaining recognition with awards from the international Chocolate Awards and London-based International Chocolate Academy, the artisan chocolate brand has signed up as one of Expo 2020 Dubai’s F&B licensees. As Expo 2020’s artisanal chocolate licensee, Mirzam would collaborate with the Expo brand to create and distribute two collections that will be sold through Expo’s sale network. Its undisclosed owners and Johnston, who is an integral part of the launch team, notes how the partnership has validated the brand for a prestigious project, considering the competition in the market.

Johnston also explains the boutique chocolate factory’s production process, which visitors can see and watch the factor where the chocolate is also sold, from sorting the beans by hand to the winnowing machine, then chocolate being ground, and later tempered and wrapped. Truffles, brownies, cake and drinks are also made. Her advice to entrepreneurs? “Don’t let the amount of work and stories of amount of the road bumps and challenges stop you from doing it, because you do overcome them.”

Related: #EntMETalks: The Best (And Worst) Advice You've Received As Entrepreneurs

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