With reporting from Navin Sam
Maya chocolate cafes in Qatar are set to be rebranded after its Bahrain-based owner has announced plans to cut ties with affiliated shops here and in several other Arab countries.
In a statement this week, The Living Concepts, which owns the Maya La Chocolaterie brand, declared the early termination of its franchise agreement with Business Trading Company (BTC) of Qatar.
BTC formerly represented Maya cafes in Doha, as well as in the UAE, Jordan, Lebanon and Oman.
Qatar’s first Maya chocolate shop opened at Landmark in 2009. Since then, it’s been consistently rated as one of the best dessert places in town.
In the statement, TLC managing director Hamad Janahi said:
“We are confident that the termination came at the best interest for the Maya La Chocolaterie brand. This presents us the opportunity of re-entering these markets under new management and ownership.”
He added that operations in Qatar, UAE and Jordan have been closed until further notice.
However, Maya cafes at Villaggio and Landmark malls continue to remain open to serve customers.
Business almost as usual
No one at BTC in Qatar was available for comment.
But speaking to Doha News, employees said the main difference is that they are now just coffee shops, and can no longer use the Maya name or sell Maya-branded chocolates or other merchandise.
At the Villaggio Mall branch on Thursday, all Maya signage appeared to be removed, but some chocolates could be observed on display.
Customers there told Doha News that they were not aware that the franchise was in the process of changing hands, and that business appeared to be operating as normal.
Asked if they would continue patronizing the cafe if it was called by any other name, one woman said no, while a male customer said, “Yeah, I don’t mind coming back because it still is delicious.”
That chocolate mug in the picture is made to deceive people. I ordered one a while ago and it turned out it has an extremely small volume, the rest of it is just design. In other words, I ordered a cup of chocolate thinking I will get a decent portion, but ended up with half of what I was expecting. The waitress’s herself was embarrassed when I complained to her and couldn’t justify such a deception.
you do know there is a refill right ? lol.
That would be a second order. No thanks. Give me a decent portion from the start. I am not paying peanuts.
No its not. Its a same order and you don’t pay a penny. And glasses are like that to keep chocolate warm and when you dip if the peace falls in chocolate you can easily pick it up.
Weird, so why did the waitress change the order instead of informing me that she would fill it up again when it is finished? This is weird. That was last year though, may be this is a new policy 🙁
To be honest, I think it’s shaped that way to have the heat from the candle directly below the chocolate in one mug without separate objects but i don’t know
The one I got (and the one in the picture from what I see) does not have the candle option. That said, even with the candle thing, just give your customers a decent portion or make it clear from the menu that the mug is small and that the portion will be very small.
They all come with the candle. Thats not an option – you got the candle every single time. And portion is unlimited. So whats your real reason to pick on non existing issue?
Where do you get this nonsense from? I told you my mug did not have a candle. It was just a special mug carved up at the bottom for design purposes. And moreover, where did you get the unlimited thing? That’s not what the waitress told me. Relax mate I know my personal experience with them more than you. That was almost a year ago though, so may be things changed now.
Read up what Elizabeth said up there. She had the same experience, so get your info right before criticizing.
This is news ? Off to a bad start in 2915 dn
I agree with Yacine…I went there a couple of times and the chocolate fondue is a very small quantity of chocolate and not really enough for the dip-in items. I even complained about it and the staff member never mentioned a free refill…have never been back since…
Went there with my Colombian friends when they just opened and then we decided never again. Chocolate was disgusting, all sugary and nothing else. No good quality. One thing worst than the other. Good for this region where people want only sugary stuff. They can re-brand as much as they want. For those people who come from the culture of cocoa it was just another flop!