Recipe for Success

Our Personality of the Week, Ghada Al Harthy, Founder & Managing Director of Café G Patisserie & Waleema Catering & Events

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Ghada founded Café G in June 2006 and Waleema Catering in September 2015. She has 14 years of experience working with an international airline in ground operations. She has been in the food & beverage industry for almost 10 years.

What prompted you to start a SME? Were there any hurdles in the process?
“Freedom from being an employee and creating my own business for financial independence.” Talking about hurdles, she says, “Too many to recall, but nothing that cannot be overcome with determination to succeed.”

Can you remember your first order/project?
“Yes! It was for an event at Al Maasa Mall that was attended by the Minister of Sports at the time – HE Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi. That was really an honour and opened the doors of catering for us.”

What makes your SME different from others? We do have a number of ladies offering desserts and cakes.
“Café G Patisserie is the pioneering name behind the flourishing trend of gourmet cakes in Oman. What makes us different is our renowned reputation of consistently good cakes and food and our service is second to none. A majority of our customers always say the same thing, Café G is like home away from home and they love that about us.”

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“My Motto: No compromise
on quality”

Inspirations…
“As a business person, it is Sir Richard Branson; and as the concept, it was my memories of growing up in the UK that inspired me to open a ‘local’ café with international flair. “Back in 2006 when we first opened, the market majority was run by franchises, they are very commercial in the products and values, we found a niche where we felt we could offer homemade goods at affordable prices, that can supersede the franchise brands in terms of quality and service.”

 

How did you translate your home business/passion as a full-fledged business?
“It was never a home business, I was working at the time and simultaneously opened my café, I dedicated myself full time to my business a year after it initially opened.”

What kind of support have you received from government bodies/organisations?”
“My latest business venture Waleema Catering & Events is fully funded by the government’s Al Raffd Fund and nowadays, we appreciate the fact that some corporate and government entities are making a sincere effort to support registered SMEs with projects.”

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
“Realistically speaking, with the current economic situation of the local market, I am more focused on where I see myself in the next six months, because the situation is always changing; the future is unpredictable. In a perfect scenario, however, I would like to see our business grow steadily and perhaps even expand internationally.”