There was hype about this bakery that opened in one of Amman’s fine neighborhood during 2014. I did not check the place personally but kept myself updated with their news on social media. It was not until their success of opening a shop at Al-Weibdeh, the old heart the city that I noticed how special Boutique Bakery could be. The smell of the freshly baked bread filled the air as soon as I walked into the shop. The simple and rusty displays and the friendliness of the staff added much to the taste of their bakeries. Unable to meet Gabriela in person, we decided on a skype interview that I was excited for. Her spirit and excitement reflected how passionate she is in providing an authentic and traditional Austrian bakery in the niche yet very competitive market of Amman.
Gabriela did not expect that the invitation she received to spend a vacation in Jordan a couple of years back was going to be the start for an adventure she never planned for. The time spent in Jordan allowed her to explore the country and to connect to people living Amman. “My vacation in Jordan was very remarkable. I was enjoying my time being a tourist as well as planning for the next step in my life.” Throughout her stay, she has realized how much the Europeans living in Amman crave the fresh bread they used to buy from local bakeries back in their home countries. “They were sharing with me all their childhood memories of local bakeries in Europe and all the happy moments and good times that came along,” she adds.
After finalizing the business plan with her business partners, learning some basic Arabic and drafting all the recipes, Gabriela was ready and set to go. Following months of planning and preparation for their first shop, Boutique Bakery was a reality by 2014. Nested in Al-Rabya area in Amman, it succeeded in providing the market with European handmade bakeries and pastries including their signature apple strudel and German bread. “What makes us stand out and maintain the original taste of our products is our ability to import all of our ingredients from Europe except for water, yeast and the exceptional extra virgin olive oil that we locally source. This includes all kinds of flour that we use in our variety of bread, seeds, nuts and other ingredients that we incorporate in our menu,” Gabriela explains.
The second shop in Al-Weibdeh area was a decision that Gabriela and her business partner would never regret. “We have carefully chosen the area as it is one of the common areas in Amman where expats are known to live at. With a French institute close by, couple of embassies and a handful of NGOs, Al-Weibdeh was the perfect place for our Austrian bakery,” she adds. The success of this particular shop and the expanding of their database not only to include individuals, but hotels, restaurants and even the Royal Court, Gabriela was excited to announce that they are in the phase of adding another shop to their brand. “Our main focus is to provide a unique experience to our clients. Saying that, we pay a lot of attention to the location that we are going to choose for our next shop.”
Missing on the European lifestyle, warm neighborhoods and the social interaction between people, Advent Market was launched last year by Boutique Bakery during Christmas time, to get the residents of Al-Weibdeh together in an attempt to revive the slowly vanishing human connections. “Our first market was a very successful event. The feedback that we received from the audience was very positive that has encouraged us to plan for other markets throughout the year.” The bakery’s social contribution as well extends to support communities in Amman such as Family Kitchen, where all the fresh leftover items from the day are picked up by Family Kitchen to be distributed to families in need. The Wild Animal Welfare Center benefits as well from all food items not suitable for human consumption where they are converted into nutritious meals for the animals at the center.
With another shop yet to open, more events to come and local collaborations with local producers such as Toffimelt, Namliyeh and many others, Boutique Bakery is fighting the odds and taking the risks to keep their promise to supply Amman with their unique handcrafted products. Their business knowledge, market awareness and creativity are keeping them one step ahead of the game.
*Pictures courtesy of Boutique Bakery