Nabeel Nafiseh: The Sweet Road Of Success.
It all started 87 years ago. Saleem Nafiseh started a humble sweets shop in Madanat Alshahem(مأذنة الشحم) neighborhood in Old Damascus.
With his exceptional skills, he made two famous delicacy that captured the sweet tooth of Syrians. The Haressa and Nabulseea sweets would sell like hot cakes and a tradition was established.
As with the strong family ties embedded in Eastern cultures, he passed his skills and craftsmanship to his son Abdo who opened another shop in Bab Al-Jabia(باب الجابية) another block in Old Damascus in 1957. Abdo was loyal to his father`s standards that continued in his footsteps and pass them eventually to his son Nabeel and his brothers who worked hard for expanding the menu to include the assorted Arabian sweets in 1973.
The business went on a full catering service with a growing menu that included the original Nabulseea and Mabroumeh to include a full line of cookery spanning from freshly made soups and oriental meals to the other Arabian sweets and recently ice creams and Western chocolate and confectioneries. The business opened 10 outlets that cover all major points in Damascus to meet the heavy consumer demand plus one branch in the United Arab Emirates(in Sharjeh) plus two distributing agents in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The menu is quiet inclusive that offers more than 75 items of dazzling items to choose from.
When I met Mr. Nabeel Nafiseh today I asked him about the sweet road of success. It wasn`t rosy all the time,he told me. You have to work hard to keep a signature products that is highly sought by customers here and abroad.
We are a family business where we divide responsibilities among family members.You have to look continuously for first grade raw materials and make them as local and authentic as possible, he adds.
Every dish here is treated like an art project. It has please the eye as well as the taste buds of loyal customers. It became a tradition. Whenever you are in Damascus, chances are you will taste one of their delicacies. In Ramadan(the fasting month for Muslims), we get huge demand that keeps us heavily busy until the last day.
I asked him with such a success why don`t you consider franchising you brand to spread it all over the world. He said it is not easy, we have strict standards but made our first step with the fourth generation of the family starting our first branch in the UAE. Maybe we can launch it from there but again with a family business with high standards it will take a while. we take intricate details in our products. But who knows, as new generation take over, the field is theirs. They know the beginnings so to what end they will take it, it is up to their ingenuity.
No wonder you get astonishing dishes where you have the original and local pistachios and walnuts with the famous ghee and world best tasting wheat varieties that you end with a work of art in the form of a treat.