JEDDAH: Demerara Patisserie is a Jeddah-based business serving up a traditional afternoon tea and delivering it to your doorstep.
Run by Salma Mahdy, who studied at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute, the patisserie offers a selection of authentic afternoon tea items that can be found in any five-star London hotel. Delicate desserts, light savory snacks, preserves, clotted cream, and Earl Grey are all packaged together in one box.
Mahdy said the idea came to her while she was living in Britain and adored the afternoon tea tradition. “I loved the way they served their light meals in the afternoon. I thought, why not introduce it in Saudi Arabia in my business?”
She said it could be a challenge to make the variety of products needed for afternoon tea and ensure that every item was freshly made. “Especially when I am in a rush and the customer places the order just a day earlier. I sometimes freeze some of the things that can be frozen, like the different fillings, ganache, and some decorations. This way I maintain the taste and freshness and am able to deliver on time.”
Before attending the famous culinary school, Mahdy started her career in a very different industry and graduated with a master’s degree in urban planning. Her priorities changed after she decided to start a family.
“Once I knew in my heart that I was ready to get back into business, I started designing the afternoon tea set and now that it is kicking off I am happy I never gave up on my dream.”
One of the biggest challenges she initially faced was to find a suitable packaging design for deliveries.
Looking ahead to the future, she said she was aiming to expand her business, open a physical store, and pass on what she had learnt.
“I would like to teach others the tips and tricks to make delicate pastry and other things I learned on the way.”