Mingling a woman’s two favourite things – chocolate and beautiful bouquets – master confectioner Asmaa Sabiq moulds prosaic slabs of chocolate into fanciful three-dimensional works of edible art. Whipping up whimsical edible bouquets from her workshop in Casablanca, Morocco, Asmaa – who was trained by a Russian chocolatier – redefines gifting and food design with her captivating creations. This enterprising #girlboss also has a marketing degree to her name and a business management qualification from ISCAE Casablanca and ICHEC in Brussels, respectively. Her savvy business sense combined with adept artistry helped establish Alionka Chocolaterie in 2018. Asmaa shares a few sumptuous secrets behind chocolate-making and being a FEMrepreneur.
What inspired you to start your company?
Despite having a comfortable job, I always felt that I needed more freedom and I always dreamed about bringing something new and creative to my country.
What types of products do you make and sell?
Our main technology is based on chocolate-covered fruits, chocolate bouquets and fantasy bars.
How long does it take you to make one chocolate bouquet?
Depending on the size of the bouquet, it takes between one and half to two hours to complete.
What makes Alionka Chocolate bouquets so special?
All the bouquets are made with love and devotion. We always aim to surprise our customers by making a unique bouquet for them that will exceed their expectations. Also, it’s the answer for people who cannot decide between gifting chocolate or flowers, as it’s a combination of both.
What was the very first chocolate creation that you made?
A chocolate-covered strawberry
Once I saw the first creation, it made me feel very confident about my choice of brand that taught me this technology. It made me realise that I wanted to do my best to excel in this business, and I was very excited about starting this adventure!
What challenges have you faced as a FEMtrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
Challenges are part of our day-to-day work.
Finding balance between my work and personal life seems to be the biggest challenge. Managing time well and starting the journey very early is the solution. Also, processes take time and delays are not always expected, which can be stressful from time to time.
How do you think up new, creative ideas?
I believe it’s very crucial to bring a creative idea and start a new business; it makes your offer special from the existing ones on the market. It’s a key element to success. Thanks to the Internet, I’m always looking for creative ideas by following brands from around the world. Instagram is especially helpful in discovering the latest trends.
What has been the most effective way of marketing your business?
I believe that getting in touch with bloggers and influencers is the most effective way of marketing nowadays.
What is the most courageous thing you’ve done as a FEMtrepreneur?
Spending all night preparing bouquets with the team for a morning delivery is the most courageous thing we can do for our clients (B-to-B Market), to ensure we deliver fresh products.
Describe yourself in three words:
Ambitious. Patient. Positive.
What’s the best part about your job?
Satisfying people, making them happy, and when I have to write sweet words for their beloved ones, that feeling really is happiness.
What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?
I’m always proud to see the final result and see my customers happy.
What are your goals for the future?
We aim to make our brand international, and start teaching students from all over the world through 3-day masterclasses. We’d also like to develop our business in other countries.
What advice would you give to other young female entrepreneurs?
If you have a dream, don’t think twice – just go for it! It will either be a success story, or you will learn from it and be more ready for the next challenge.
Fun facts about Asmaa
|Favourite business tool:||Chocolate moulds|
|My personal style is…||Casual|
|Heels or flats?||Both|
|I never leave home without:||My phone|
|My favourite Alionka flavours are…||Cinnamon, mint and rosa chocolate.|
|Chocolate makes me feel…||Happy|
|Three favourite ingredients to work with:||Crystallised violet, gold sequins and mixed colorants.|
|I deal with stress by:||Managing my time|
|Favourite shade of lipstick:||Red|
|Book recommendation:||Chocolat by Joanne Harris|
|Favourite coffee shop or café?||Elan café in London|
|If I had an unlimited budget, I would shop at:||Dior|
|Dream destination:||Bora Bora|
|The one thing required for success is…||Determination|
They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, however, Asmaa Sabiq completely disproves that statement. Her edible bouquets are recommended to be consumed within 48hrs, however, it’s most likely that they’d be devoured long before that. We love the imaginative overhaul she’s given to this commercial candy.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Morocco, you can taste a piece of the Alionka magic by visiting Asmaa’s store or placing an order by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until Asmaa’s chocolate-coated plan for world domination comes to fruition, we’ll be drooling over her creations on Instagram