Abdullah Interviews Essa Behbehani
As you know the site was down for 5 days last week and this interview, in my opinion, did not get the same attention as the rest of my guests, so its only fair to upload it on today’s Interview post. Plus, no worries, got alot of stuff for you in the upcoming weeks. For the moment, enjoy this piece
Its that saturday again, a brand new interview with someone I know you want to meet, because he makes you go “UMM UMM UMMM Gimme another” after you eat one of his marvelous god given creations, the choowy Goowy master.
He is a local food celebrity for sure, he’s been around for as far back as 2006 if Im not mistaken.
I still remember the first phone call I had with him back then, he had an offer of ordering his CARB-LOADING, EASY ON the throat, “ohh ahhh in the brain” cookies, and guess what ? You could keep the JAR. I was a jar sucker for some reason and I still dont know why HAH !
That being said, Essa does not know this story im about to say. You see after I had a wonderful experience with his goods, I decided to tell my mum about it, she tried some and fell in love with’em almost immediately. So you know what mothers do if they like something right ? They give some to their baby daddies, her husband, my father LOL. So she called Essa and told him how much she likes his stuff, but this time around, she wants some special packaging so that it can be displayed well in my father’s office (although, I think the JAR would so rock the scene, but oh well, to all his own), so he said ok and dont worry about it, we’ll hook you up.
He then sent this amazing velvet blue box with the cookies all lined up in the most luxurious way you could possibly think of, he really hooked her up with his amazing creations, it was so good that she and I still remember it ! They also exchanged ideas , he liked the recommendation so much that he sent her a complimentary jar of cookies. Essa, your way up in mum’s chart. HAH !
Plus, you promised we’ll have boys day out where you’ll show me how I can make my favorite cookies myself, I better bring my HD video cam with me.
Oh and one last note, tonight is Essa’s First Marriage Anniversary, lets wish the happy couple well and more joyous years of love & success!
Alright, let me just step aside and give you the kind and talented Essa Behbehani.
Hey there, im Essa Abdulla Behbrhani, im 26 years old, hole a Bachelor degree of finance and im happily Married.
Im the vice president/General manager of Almanar food company which includes “choowygoowy Kuwait and the middle east” Revera Catering company, kubba w kabab & recently we bought Texas Chicken franchise in Kuwait to develop. We already changed all the operation and passion about this franchise to a totaly different quality aiming for a competitive advantage that will make us really different than whats out there.
Alright, so your childhood, share with us some flashes from here and there.
Childhood! Oh god all I remember is I was crazy hyper active kid! Fat ! I ate like mortadela when i was 3 months old! I jumped on my aunti and took it from her Hand ! Ever since I was young I loved participate in everything ! And again, I was a faaaaaat kid ;p
If I asked you, what is it that you enjoy the most, what would that be, I mean, food related ?
One of my favorite things to do in life is reviewing restaurants !! All over the world, wherever I go! And if u asked me what I want to be for the rest of my life, the answer would be a food critic ! I had a blog before ( choowies.wordpress.com ) I used to review all restaurants ! Even in kuwait I still do business for food consulting or for example work with a new restaurant and check all competitors and analyzing the market depending on the cuisine it self, that’s what I really enjoy in my life. Also, we’ll soon open a division in our food company for that, now we do it, but on a small scale.
Fav restaurant in Kuwait : Maki, Slider Station, Asha’s. Sadly though, there are no high-end restaurants here in kuwait, so that’s why I enjoy my self when I go to london.
London fav restaurants: Amaya ( indian ) Hakasan ( oriental ) sumasan ( japanese ) mint leaf ( indian ) scalini ( italian ) chebriani ( italian ) nobu ( japanese )
What inspired you to tap into who you are now ?
My father and my Lovely sister Amar. They’ve tought me everythig in life! My dad tought me how to work hard and always give 1000000% in work and he always said “if you want to do something to work you have to do it perfectly” and my lovely Amar always made me think different, define problems and showed me the way to be a leader and a unique thinker/innovator.
Thats so sweet, I love family bondings, now tell me, what were the challenges that came along the way ?
Mostly it was giving our community what they really deserve ! If you want to succeed in life you should do what people want! Not what you want! So we compiled a database of what consumers want just to make our customers love us and doing everything they wish for, ofcourse aside thats aside from holding on to perfection based on international standards for each cookie that comes out. This is how we did it in choowygoowy when I started back in 2005 I was in college and we started with one kind ! It was chocolate chip, all of what you see now is the creation of customers! But the main challenge was in the beginning of the business ! We never did it at home, I took a place in hawalli 3 levels and brought the professional equipment and started doing training sessions.
The reason why I dd this and didn’t start at home is to be able to know exactly what I will face and learn the budgeting and every single aspect of the business. We started with 15,000kd with only home delivery. Now we are valued over 400,000kd.
In 4 years of hardwork with 2 branches. i might also give you a p0ach exclusive by telling you about our new branches, we are about to launch a branch in 360 mall coming really soon & A new choowygoowy cafe on the gulf road. After that, choowygoowy Dubai.
(THANK YOU ESSA FOR THE EXCLUSIVE STUFF)
I shouldn’t really ask you this but I have to, so tell me, what differs you from the rest of the competition out there?
1st the love of the people and their satisfaction! They are the Owners of choowygoowy they made us what we are today ! Opening in avenues is because of what people request and want.
2nd we are the first bakery in Kuwait that specialized in cookies. When we do a product we always do it the perfect way possible and our latest product is The NewYorker its the only original newyork cheese cake with the crust of our cookies.
3rd, aside from perfct quality, there is room for effeciency in service & amazing presentation. We aim for that, we think we got it right.
This is our business model and this is what we always follow from the moment you pick your bag till you let whats in the bag melt in your mouth.
Thats great, ok so give me the hook up, give me the exclusive stuff, whats NEW ?
Alright alright, no rush. Look, the customers can customized anything we do. They can choose between our recent or future products. These mixed consumer oriented stuff vary from muffins, cupcakes and alot of gourmet cakes which will be introduced in the CG cafe in kuwait next year, or in CG dubai after 3 months. These are my new products.
You know what im going to ask you next, you’v probably heard this a million times, but this is the first and last time im asking you. What does Choowy Goowy stand for ?
No worries ! look, its really simple yet hard to obtain:
Choowy means soft while Goowy means it melts in ur mouth! So when u eat any product we have you’ll be in a choowy goowy phase.
Alright, thats wonderful, what about your support system ?
The support was there since day one. Friends and family were there, they kept ordering every single day to support & make me feel good. Also, in college while in classes and sitting with friends when they see me they always order so I was taking most of the order while I was in college. I would then send their orders to the factory for delivery and I will never forget how my colleagues and professors helped and supported me.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now ?
In London & Newyork. That’s our main objective and it will be a signed deal 3 years from now, in GOD’s willings.
Alright, Essa, throw something for p0ach readers.
Always be unique be one of a kind and treat your employees like your own brothers & sisters. They are the assets of any company. Be always on top and make the people follow your steps in business by being a leader an innovator, never an immitator/copier. In other words, be ORIGINAL.
Main delivery office: 22626559 , 22620011
Avenues number : 22597949