JEDDAH: Bringing the taste of Italian desserts to Saudi Arabia has served up sweet success for a family-inspired cafe startup.
Saudis are well-known for having a sweet tooth, and their willingness to sample confections from around the world has seen a rise in different brands of ice cream, chocolates, and desserts.
And the owners of Jeddah-based Como Gelato cafe have combined passion and business acumen to offer an authentic Italian eating experience to diners in the Kingdom.
The idea for the venture began in Italy when Ammar Binrabaa’s father experimented with a gelato-filled fruit dessert and then shared the experience with his son.
Together they decided to open a cafe in the Kingdom and recreate the food concept, recruiting an Italian chef to maintain the authentic taste of gelato made of real fruit and natural ingredients.
To create the desserts, fruits are first hollowed out and then filled with smooth and delicious gelato.
“We are like a family here in the cafe, and we make sure that what we provide is of good quality. The gelato itself has the power to make you feel like you are eating it in one of the best places in Italy,” Binrabaa told Arab News.
As well as gelato, the cafe also serves authentic Italian pastries, and coffee brewed in its own unique style.
Binrabaa said that his biggest initial challenge had been introducing gelato to Saudi customers used to normal ice cream. “The basic material of gelato is different than regular ice cream.”
He pointed out that while many ice creams contained a lot of artificial ingredients, gelato was made up of 60 percent real fruit.
“This project changed my life. It opened my mind to see the good in everyone and appreciate creativity from all kinds of people.”
Binrabaa designed the cafe’s interior too. “I gathered ideas from all parts of the world and combined them all to decorate the cafe.
“I want to spread this brand all around the world and try and make other people fond of fresher and healthier ice cream,” he added.