Founder: Dalia Dogmoch Soubra
There is a certain ‘je ne sais quo’ about Kitsch cupcakes and it might have to do with the fact that founder Dalia grew up in Paris and infuses a European flair into her recipes.
“Cupcakes are an American classic, but I’m in love with European products that are a little less sweet and a little more robust in flavour,” she says. “Many of our ingredients are European.”
After living in Paris, Dalia moved to New York for college and lived there for nearly a decade. There, she witnessed what she calls the ‘cupcake phenomenon’ as the infamous Magnolia Bakery launched and the television show Sex and the City made them popular. When she returned to Beirut with batter on the brain, she decided to launch Kitsch with a close friend and take on the cupcake world
“We didn’t hire an international baking team or take a franchise, we created our own recipes from scratch,” says Dalia. “I’m a self-taught baker, so all the recipes are made after lots of hours in my kitchen.”
After opening in Beirut in 2006, they opened a second branch in Dubai in 2008 in Jumeirah.
“Initially, people thought we were crazy,” she says with a laugh. “I was meeting with every big mall operator in Dubai and people told me cupcakes will never work here.”
After many sleepless nights, Dalia followed her instinct and kept up with her work.
Her favourite moment was when her father, who was initially against the crazy idea of cupcakes after having invested in a great education for his daughter, came to visit the Kitsch bakery. After seeing the queues and how smoothly Dalia was running her own business, he couldn’t help but be impressed.
“That day, I saw that he finally understood, and it meant the world to me,” she says.
Today, she’s opened four more locations across the Gulf region, including one in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and a trendy one in the DIFC, with plans for more soon.
Her favourite flavours rotate depending on the season, but she loves peanut butter chocolate and French vanilla. Orders for her tasty sweets range from a Burj Khalifa tower for Kim Kardashian to cupcakes spelling out ‘Will You Marry Me’ for a marriage proposal.