In the early 20th century, the head of the family’s 4th generation, Mr. Sadek A. Ghraoui was a pioneer in introducing Syrian crafts to the international community. He represented the Syrian merchant and business communities in neighboring Arab countries and all over the world, reaching well into Europe and America.
In 1930, Mr. Ghraoui was among the main founders of the first fruit and vegetable canning company, “Compagnie Nationale des Conserves”, which was the very first public shareholding and the largest company in Syria at that time. It employed over 1000 employees and its products were sold all over the world through Ghraoui’s participation in international exhibitions and fairs.
The “Ghraoui” trade name was crowned in international fairs & competitions and was awarded certificates of excellence and gold medals in recognition of its quality and in appreciation of its excellence:
BEIRUT 1921 – Silver Medal CAIRO 1926 – Golden Medal ROME 1929 – Golden Medal
PARIS 1931 – Golden Medal PARIS 1937 – Golden Medal NEW YORK WORLDS
After a visit to France in 1931, Mr. S. Ghraoui was determined to import and introduce Chocolate for the first time to the Middle East region. This determination was followed by a decision to manufacture chocolate in Damascus.
At the beginning “Ghraoui Chocolate” was manufactured through importing chocolate in blocks (couverture) from CACAO BARRY in France or LESME in England, both were represented in the Levant region by Mr. S. Ghraoui. The manufacturing process at that time started by simply melting the chocolate blocks in order to convert them into different shapes, pieces or bars adding fillings or flavors then wrapping them. The most popular Ghraoui chocolate product in that era was milk chocolate with almonds, which was introduced to the local market in fancy, thin wooden boxes imported from Austria.
A gift was included in the boxes like sterling silver scissors or a golden letter cutter to serve as a temptation for Damascene people to start buying and appreciating this new delicatessen as people in this region were used to Arabic sweets like Maamoul and Knafeh. Shortly after, chocolate started to become a much appreciated gift.
Once the demand for this new product increased, Mr. Ghraoui brought in a French manager who stayed in Damascus for 10 years to oversee the management and to train the workers on the art of manufacturing superior quality chocolate from cocoa. The aim of inviting this expatriate to Damascus was to match Ghraoui’s chocolate with the distinction of Ghraoui’s other products that had maintained an excellent reputation since the early 19th century such as candied fruits.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Ghraoui products were sold in London in Fortnum Mason, Selfridges, and Harrods.
They even gained the title of purveyors to H.M. the Queen of England through their presence in the Army & Navy Store in London. In Paris, Ghraoui products were sold in Fauchon and Hediard.
With its rich history dating back to the 19th century, the Ghraoui chocolatier has long been synonymous with successful trade& commerce both internationally and in the Middle East.
Today Ghraoui chocolates and confectioneries offering you more than 100 different products catering to the most discerning taste.
Visit us and experience the unique taste of our Ghraoui delicacies.
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